Lawsuit Status: More details
Hi all --This is just a quick report to let you all know what happened in Court this morning, based on my understanding of what the judge and our attorney said. The upshot is that there will be a full-blown hearing on evidence starting next Thursday, that Patio is applying to Parks to continue beyond June 30 on a temporary basis, and that no injunction is being issued against Milkshake's moving in on July 1 because the Comptroller's office has yet to approve the contract and as such it couldn't move in anyway.
The judge's threshold issue was whether to issue an injunction, with or without a bond being posted, against Milkshake's assuming the lease on July 1. He said he had no power to allow Patio to continue after June 30 because that was up to Parks. However, because the Comptroller's office has yet to approve Milkshake's contract, it could not take over on July 1 anyway. After the attorneys made some points, the judge decided not to issue an injunction at this time, and Patio is to apply today for permission to stay on past June 30 (I think they'll be making the application for a year, because the litigation may take that long). (Our attorney noted to us that if the best interests of the Plaza and the City is to have an occupied, rent-paying concession, then Parks' refusal to grant Patio's application to stay on temporarily may be seen as bad faith.)
The Court noted that the petitioners (that's us) made new arguments in their reply papers, which Parks and Milkshake did not have a chance to respond to, but that was because Parks, in its response to our initial petition last Friday, only turned over, for the first time, the scoring sheets from the bid process that we believe show some improprieties. Our attorney plans to send copies of these today to the Comptroller's office to suggest they go over them, and also to apprise them of the status of our action.
An issue raised by Parks at last Friday's court appearance was whether Friends had standing to bring the petition in the first place. Our attorney cited some case law supporting our right to bring the action, and Parks' attorneys didn't bring up the matter again, so we're in (and rightly so).
The next step is the presentation of factual evidence before the Court in support of our request to void Parks' awarding the license to Milkshake. This will take place at an evidentiary hearing (I believe that's what it's called) to be held next Thursday, July 6, at 10:15 a.m. before Justice Lewis Stone, 111 Centre Street, Rm. 687.
Anyone who wants to attend the hearing is free to do so.