Chapter 29 Lawsuit – Update

Below is an email from our attorney with some recent updates on the lawsuit


Just a note to let you know what is happening.  After we received the federal court ruling, I filed a copy of the ruling with the state court, along with a request for an immediate scheduling conference.  I think this case will be decided by summary judgment and that there will be no trial but, just in case I am wrong I want to get onto the trial calendar at the earliest possible trial date.

In response to this state court (Judge Grady) ordered that the court administrator set a scheduling conference.  The court administrator set a scheduling conference to be conducted by phone on January 4.  This conference will set deadlines for motions, etc. as well as a trial date.

I also talked to the city attorney.  I pointed out to him that under Judge Reade’s order he could elect to litigate the federal constitutional claims in state court or he could reserve them for Federal Court.  I suggested to him that he should file something in the State court to make this election.

Today I received a pleading from the city formally reserving the federal constitutional questions for the federal court.  This is what I hoped he would do when I made the suggestion.  This election gives us two chances instead of one.  We can present the state Home Rule questions to the state court AND the state due process claims.  The state due process claims are really the same arguments as the federal claims because the state constitution provisions regarding due process are essentially the same as the federal provisions.  If the court sides with us, that’s the end of the matter.  The case will only go back to Federal Court if we fail to win in the state court.  If the city wins in state court we will still get a second shot at the constitutional questions in federal court.  For the federal constitutional questions the federal court won’t feel bound by the state court’s ruling on the state constitution.