accountability in us politics at federal state local levels, stopping Downtown-MLK-Midtown Tunnel tolls
The briefs in the lawsuit
COMPLAINT filed on July 12, 2012, kicking off the NoTollsHR lawsuit on behalf of Citizens Against Unfair Tolls against VDOT and ERCO. The case was named for the first plaintiff in the caption, “Danny Meeks, et al. v. VDOT, et al.” and assigned Case No. 740-CL-12001705-00. [Note: The defendants petitioned to have the case moved to federal court based on Count 7, which was a federal count. Plaintiffs amended the Complaint, dropping Count 7, and the case was remanded to Circuit Court, where it was assigned to the Honorable Judge James A. Cales.]
BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed Jan. 31, 2013, by VDOT and ERCO. Defendants argue that the Court should dismiss the lawsuit “with prejudice,” claiming that “Plaintiffs are local citizens and businesses who object to paying tolls to use the Project facilities.”
PLAINTIFFS’ CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed March 4, 2013. Plaintiffs’ attorneys Patrick McSweeney, Bob Cynkar, and Chris Kachouroff argue that the Plaintiffs rights’ under the Constitution of Virginia have been violated, that certain provisions of the PPTA are unconstitutional, and that the Comprehensive Agreement between VDOT and ERCO is invalid.
REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed March 25, 2013, by VDOT/ERCO, who state that Plaintiffs’ arguments “would threaten every PPTA project in the Commonwealth” if accepted by the Court. (This claim by the Defendants is what Judge Cales rightly labeled the “Chicken Little” defense during a subsequent hearing.)
REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed April 15, 2013, argues that there was an unlawful delegation of power to VDOT, unauthorized action in the contracting process by VDOT, unconstitutional special treatment in the Comprehensive Agreement that would inhibit (or effectively prohibit) future legislative action, and illegal exaction of money from Plaintiffs.
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS MOTION TO STAY JUDGMENT PENDING APPEAL, filed May 14, 2013. Defendants argue that they should be allowed to collect tolls while the Supreme Court makes a final decision in the case because the “only harm would be the payment of a small amount in user fees should [Plaintiffs] choose to travel the tolled areas.” (This was assuming the Supreme Court would not make a decision until after February 1.)
PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO STAY, filed May 17, 2013. Plaintiffs argue that damages would not be financial only: staying the judgment could lead to a violation of Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.
ORDER DENYING STAY PENDING APEAL, filed on May 21, 2013, in a document optimistically presented in court by the Defendants and altered to fit the actual decision (which required quite a few strokes of the pen in our favor).
APPELLEES’ ASSIGNMENTS OF CROSS-ERROR, filed with the Supreme Court on June 27, 2013, by the Plaintiffs (Appellees). In addition to supporting the decision of the Circuit Court in the this case, Plaintiffs ask the Supreme Court to rule on the tolling provisions of the PPTA and Comprehensive Agreement based on their abridgement of the Commonwealth’s sovereignty.
CONSOLIDATED JOINT BRIEF OF APPELLEES, filed with the Supreme Court on August 13, 2013. The winning argument for our side! Read it here or listen
to our last brief for the appeal. (Click here to download the audio file – with thanks to Third Eye Studios.) This is the last hurdle in our legal challenge