April 30, 2015
Legal Action Begins
On Wednesday April 29th, the Coalition's legal counsel, Winter King filed the attached Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief.
The following is a synopsis of the next steps as explained by Ms. King at our Coalition Community Meeting on April 21st.
1) Contact the attorneys for RTC and the Corps to see if they will voluntarily stop construction until we can get our motion for preliminary injunction heard (approx. 1 month).
This is a requirement of the court rules that we try to work this out amongst ourselves. An email was sent to the attorneys who represented RTC and the Corps last time around. We'll see what they say.
2) If they won't agree to a pause in construction, we file a motion for a "temporary restraining order," (TRO) asking the court to make them stop construction until the court can decide on whether a longer, preliminary injunction is in order. As a reminder, a "TRO" is a very short-term injunction, and is only appropriate if there is immediate harm. A "Preliminary Injunction" or "PI" is supposed to preserve the status quo until the case can be decided on the merits (in our case, that could be 6 months from now).
3) TROs are quite difficult to get. We'll just have to wait and see.
4) There will be a hearing on the TRO.
Even if the Court denies our TRO, it will set a schedule for hearing our motion for a preliminary injunction. The Corps and RTC will have an opportunity to respond to our brief, and we'll get a reply brief.
5) Once the court decides our motion for a preliminary injunction, we then wait for the administrative record to be prepared by the Corps. If the court has granted our PI motion, RTC can do nothing while we wait. If the court denies our PI motion, RTC can continue with construction while we wait.
6) When the record is done, we file a motion for summary judgment (this is our "merits" brief, where we finally get to focus just on what the Corps did wrong). Again, the Corps and RTC get a chance to oppose the motion. The court will have another hearing on this motion, probably sometime in the fall.
We are also continuing our appeal to the City of Reno Hearing Officer on the decision by Staff to not require RTC to get a grading permit and have the Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) application completed by FEMA before construction could begin as stated in the Conditions from November 7, 2013 by the Planning Commission and upheld by the Reno City Council after appeal on December 4, 2013. We are waiting for a response from the Hearing Officer.
At our April 21st meeting we received many on the spot donations and pledges from a lot of people in the audience! Thank you! We could now use those pledges that were made for some of our legal expenses!
We really need monetary support from the communities! As stated in our previous update, we will need ongoing monetary donations to continue this legal effort. If the support stops then the Board will have to review our efforts and make a decision to continue.
We are asking for your support for legal expenses to continue to protect wetlands, open space and flood plains in this community.
We cannot do this without your help!