The Seattle City Attorney’s office and lawyers for a collection of Capitol Hill property owners and businesses suing over the CHOP occupied protest zone have agreed on at least one thing: if the case ever goes to trial, justice will take years.
According to the latest filings in the case, both sides in the CHOP lawsuit have agreed they won’t be ready for a trial until February 2022 — one year and seven months from the day Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered the camp raided and swept.
CHS last reported on the case in August as lawyers for the real estate companies and small businesses suing City Hall countered the City Attorney’s efforts to have the class action suit dismissed. Seattle’s motion from the summer focused on an argument that you can’t sue over a city’s “inaction” to protest. remains on the table but, for now, the federal class action case moves forward.
“The City was inundated with formal and informal complaints, lawsuits, and tort claims, and the City repeatedly acknowledged that its actions caused crime and vandalism to increase in the area,” lawyers for the firm Calfo Eakes wrote. “Yet the City let the situation exist for nearly a month before it finally decided to cease its support for CHOP.”
CHS first reported in late June on the lawsuit led by Capitol Hill-based developer Hunters Capital seeking to be determined financial damages for a group of businesses in the Pike/Pine and 12th Ave areas around CHOP. The list of plaintiffs has grown. It includes developers Hunters Capital, Redside Partners and Madrona Real Estate, businesses Cafe Argento, Northwest Liquor, Bergman’s Lock and Key, Car Tender, Tattoos and Fortune, Sage Physical Therapy, Richmark Label, and property owners including Onyx Homeowners Association as well as a handful of individual residents. After CHOP’s clearance, E Pine’s Rancho Bravo, 12th and Pike’s Sway and Cake boutique, and Nagle’s Cure cocktail bar joined the roster.
In addition to agreeing on a schedule for months of discovery before the trial, the legal combatants also reached agreement on a deadline for adding new plaintiffs. Under the agreement, anybody thinking about being part of the CHOP lawsuit has until February, 12, 2021 to join.
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