Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"LUS suit appeal hearing Thursday"

The Advocate today runs a story that very cleanly lays out the Naquin-Eastin case that has held up the issuance of Lafayette's fiber bonds. The story makes it clear that the filing is dependent on BellSouth's legal expertise. The rest of the story seems to be that key parts of the plantiff's case were taken from BellSouth and included in a supplemental filing that was illegally late.

Those who have closely followed the case will recall that BellSouth posted a midnight fax on the last day to challenge the council ordinance defining the bond sale. BellSouth used that filing to force Lafayette to withdraw its bills in the last session that would have repealed the (un)Fair Competition Act that is the basis of these lawsuits. That fax was apparently the basis of the challengers "supplemental filing"--or rather was the supplemental filing.

This is the case that was thrown out of Rubin's court; that is why it is being appealed to state level currently. Rubin refused to hear part of their case on the grounds that those parts weren't filled before the deadline. Presumeably this is the "supplemental" portion that the Plaquimines lawyers are trying to get into the case now.

From the story:

In a response to the plaintiffs’ appeal, LUS attorneys said most of Naquin and Eastin’s arguments should be thrown out because they were filed too late — and were copied “word for word” from a similar challenge filed by BellSouth but eventually dropped.

The state’s bond validation statute, which lays out the specific way plaintiffs must challenge bonds, requires plaintiffs to file their suits within a certain time limit and to publish their challenge in the newspaper.

The plaintiffs, after that deadline passed, filed with the district court a “supplemental” filing that LUS argues was simply a “cut and paste” of the dropped BellSouth suit...

The case will be heard by 3rd Circuit Court Judges Billy Ezell of Lake Charles, John Saunders of Ville Platte and Michael Sullivan of Lafayette.
It should all be interesting. It could all be over as soon as Thursday.

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