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Braman files suit


mountainfish
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http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/basebal...0,6059578.story

 

 

I know there's already a thread about Braman but this story came out in the Sun-Sentinel but the Herald's not reporting it. This is alot more serious than an add campaign. This could hold up the stadium deal for months. Does this suit have any legal merit? I'm not a lawyer so I don't know but I have that sickening feeling I get each time we start to get close to a stadium deal and it starts to unravel.

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First off, this was reported yesterday in the Miami Herald (Braman sues Miami, county over downtown megaplan).

 

Secondly, unless the Court grants a temporary injunction (which in a case like this will be HIGHLY UNLIKELY), there will be nothing legally stopping the project from going forward. Up here in Palm Beach, a citizens group prevailed in court over the construction of the new West Palm Beach City Hall not being on the ballot. Construction has not been halted and the side will then sort out whatever mess remains.

 

I had a chance to review the complaint, which is in the above referenced Herald article. The two counts for violating the Sunshine Law are (for lack of a better legal term) "crap." It's a stretch to argue that Burgess, as County Manager, is acting as a Board, especially since he has no final authority or voting power (i.e., Burgess alone is not the final policy-maker). Any conclusions or resolution to negotiations that Burgess conducts would need to be ratified by the County Commission, and that ratification is subject to Sunshine Law and would need to be made at a duly notice public hearing. If a judge were to rule in favor of Braman on these two counts, the ramifications to local government law would be huge! It could, in essence, force mediations where by a Division or Department Manager (or even the Chief Administrator) of a local government who is appointed or designated by the County Commission (or any commission, council, board) to represent it at a mediation to be a duly noticed public hearing. I represented Martin County in numerous mediations when the County was sued and the County Administrator was present at those mediations and none of those mediations were subject to Sunshine Law.

 

His other argument is a lawsuit as a bond holder in saying that Miami-Dade County violated the terms of the Bond by reallocating the CDT funds from the Omni to the PAC, and those PAC funds, in turn being allocated to the OB project. My issue with this count is what are Braman's damages. There is no enumeration in the complaint and I'm sure if this ever reaches the discovery stage (highly unlikely), it will be seen that Braman and other similarly situated bondholders have NO damages whatsoever. Without irreperable harm, there is no basis for a court to issue an injunction.

 

The final count on the impropriety of the allocation of the $50M to the Marlins instead of the OB is also (a true legal term) "crap." I do not believe Braman has "standing" to bring this cause of action to the Courts. You need to have an interest in the case to be able to file a lawsuit. I, up here in Palm Beach County, cannot sue Miami-Dade County because of an action of the County Commission. Why? Because I have no stake in the outcome. Braman has not stated in his complaint any "special damages" that would give rise to an interest, aside from being a resident and taxpayer of Miami-Dade County. The only way a taxpayer can bring such a suit would be if he pled that the act of changing the "target" of the $50M bond from the OB to the Marlins is a void or invalid act. The County should have reams of documents to show that the Board of County Commissioners, in this case, was authorized to determine where the monies can go. If the act is valid, then Braman loses his right to sue on this issue, unless he claims "special damagers" in order to survive the standards the Florida Courts have imposed on Plaintiffs.

 

And that, was Local Government Law 101....

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First off, this was reported yesterday in the Miami Herald (Braman sues Miami, county over downtown megaplan).

 

Secondly, unless the Court grants a temporary injunction (which in a case like this will be HIGHLY UNLIKELY), there will be nothing legally stopping the project from going forward. Up here in Palm Beach, a citizens group prevailed in court over the construction of the new West Palm Beach City Hall not being on the ballot. Construction has not been halted and the side will then sort out whatever mess remains.

 

I have not had a chance to review the complaint, nor what basis Braman is basing his claim on "standing" (which the right of an individual to bring a lawsuit in the first place - not everyone has a right to sue on an issue or matter). Just from what I read, his Sunshine Law cause of action appears to be VERY WEAK. I handled Sunshine Law matters for a local government for several years, and trying to pin down negotiations between the City Manager as being subject to the Sunshine Law is not a very strong argument.

Do you think he has a legit case regarding the use of CRA funds for subsidize the PAC? Are there certain guidelines that need to be followed in the use of CRA funds?

 

I took graduate tax courses with the county attorney mentioned in the Herald article. We would drive together from Miami to FIU's Ft. Lauderdale campus. She was gorgeous.

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I took graduate tax courses with the county attorney mentioned in the Herald article. We would drive together from Miami to FIU's Ft. Lauderdale campus. She was gorgeous.

Definitely man, she was the only attractive girl at that meeting of the board of county commissioners that we all watched in december. i envy you.

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I took graduate tax courses with the county attorney mentioned in the Herald article. We would drive together from Miami to FIU's Ft. Lauderdale campus. She was gorgeous.

Definitely man, she was the only attractive girl at that meeting of the board of county commissioners that we all watched in december. i envy you.

Although you never know how people will age in my original post I was going to say I would bet that she still looked gorgeous so I'm not at all surprised she still looks good.

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