The City of Upper Arlington (defendant) planned to cut down a 40-year-old tree. Brown (plaintiff) owned a home next to the tree and challenged the city’s decision. Brown filed suit in state court and obtained a temporary restraining order. The city removed the case to federal court. The federal district court dismissed the federal claims and did not rule on the state claims. Brown informed the city of his intention to refile his claims in state court. Soon after the district court’s dismissal order, however, the city cut down the tree. Brown moved for an order that the city was in contempt of court. The district court used its inherent powers to grant the motion and hold the city in contempt. The city appealed.