Another motion hour was held last Thursday for the lawsuit that seeks to have the Nucor deal declared unlawful. Judge Bruce Butler heard a motion, filed by plaintiffs on Feb. 13, seeking a temporary injunction.
The plaintiffs had previously moved for a temporary restraining order that would halt the demolition of Consolidated Grain and Barge, a motion that Judge Butler denied on Jan. 31.
Attached to the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary injunction are affidavits from Ben Sheeran, Larry Edelen and Nicholas Hardesty. Attorneys for the Lincoln Trail Grain Growers Association, Inc. say that these affidavits show that “the closure of the grain elevator will cause injury to such an extent that it threatens the very ability of farmers to continue business operations.”
However, Judge Butler has still yet to rule on the issue of standing, which the various defendants believed should take precedence.
“[Plaintiffs] have got to be patient with this court to make a decision on the standing issue,” said Keith Bond, who represents the Meade County Defendants.
“We do have an agreed order for briefing on the standing issue,” said Douglas Ballantine, counsel for Greenland Acquisition Company, Inc. and Nucor. “We firmly believe, respectfully, that that issue does need to be decided first.”
Michael Merrick, counsel for plaintiffs, said that just because they’ve agreed to a briefing schedule on the motion to dismiss doesn’t mean they’ve waived their rights under the rules of civil procedure to seek relief, like a restraining order or temporary injunction.
“We still have all of our rights under the civil rules,” said Merrick. “…We’re not ignoring the agreed order. We’re still briefing motions to dismiss, but we have a right to come back here and seek a motion for temporary injunction in an emergency situation.”
Merrick also argued that the standing issue played into their motion for a temporary restraining order.
“In order to grant our motion for temporary injunction, you would have to find that we have a substantial question of succeeding on the merits, including that we have shown standing,” said Merrick.
Judge Butler decided that a hearing on the plaintiffs’ new motion was appropriate. After some scheduling discussions, a hearing was set for Friday at 9 a.m. The Meade County Messenger will continue to follow this case as it progresses through the system.
Seth Dukes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.