Wet Suit Against City Now Down To: Did Beer, Wine Backers Gather Enough Signatures?

Categories: City Hall
Leland_delaGarza_2737.JPG
Leland de la Garza
While package stores keep on feeling the "significant impact" of the election that opened up beer and wine sales citywide, lawyers for the city are one step closer to beating back that legal challenge over the petitions that got the issue on the ballot back in November.

Today at the George Allen Courts Building, District Judge Laurine Blake granted a motion from the city that would limit the trial scheduled for September to decide only whether there were enough valid signatures on the petitions to trigger the local option election.

Leland de la Garza, one of the attorneys trying to overturn the referendum, argued in court this morning that whether or not there are enough valid signatures on the petitions, the election wasn't properly called in the first place. He and Andy Siegel have repeatedly contended that City Secretary Deborah Watkins didn't certify the signatures properly. "The consequences of the lack of certification is the invalidation of the election," de la Garza said.

But Assistant City Attorney Charles Estee said that even if the signatures weren't certified according to the letter of the election code, the law doesn't suggest scrapping the election results. "Its purpose is not to undo the will of the people because of some phantom technicality," he said.

Judge Blake agreed, granting the city's motion for partial summary judgment and limiting the question to whether Keep the Dollars in Dallas's petitions really did have enough valid signatures. From the beginning, the Kroger-backed initiative maintained that it not only got the number of signatures needed, but far more than the 68,846 required by law.

"I'm of the opinion that the city secretary was not required to have a specific number" of signatures, she said. "However, when the plaintiff requested a specific count, that has to mean something."

Now both sides have till September 12 -- when the final hearing's set -- to work out that one question: whether there were enough valid signatures on the petitions after all.

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9 comments
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observist
observist

It's much easier to hire lawyers and try to get the rules changed than it is to compete in the market. Hence dumb lawsuits whining about signature counts after the election at the local level and K Street on the national level.

abuckley1970
abuckley1970

Beer sounds good right about now.

the plantiff wants a specific count...the meaning? They're grasping at straws...to use in their alcoholic beverages as they mull over their phantom technicalities. :D

Graham Shevlin
Graham Shevlin

Who are these censorious self-interested losers who are wasting the legal system's time?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

One of them is Jerry Christian, one of Dallas' reps on the DART Board of Directors. He is the same guy that said DART did the best it could when its operations collapsed during winter storms earlier this year.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Perhaps they should repay the city the legal expenses incured for thier foolishness?

Nachoman
Nachoman

Watch out for Leland de la Garza. Hes the life of the party!

Guest
Guest

I miss the picture of Andy

Dallas Res
Dallas Res

For the love of god, repeal prohibition!

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