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Judge Issues Ruling Saying City Councilors Not Entitled to Immunity

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Press Release from The Monument Fund, Inc.

Re: Monument litigation, Payne et al. v. City of Charlottesville, et al.

On June 13, 2018, Judge Moore issued a nine (9) page letter opinion ruling that the individual City Councilors are not entitled to immunity and may be liable for damages including the costs of litigation.

The Court noted that “there may be some question . . . as to what damages they might be liable for, but they cannot, in any event, be immune to injunction or fines or other sanctions for disobeying court orders.”

Previously the Court had ruled that the City cannot remove the Lee monument, or the Jackson monument, and cannot permanently obscure them under tarps. Today’s order also clarifies that “putting up a fence, for example, could be [a prohibited] encroachment.”

The Court had also previously ruled that the Plaintiffs will recover their litigation costs including attorneys’ fees if they prevail, which today’s order confirms.

A pdf file copy of Judge Moore’s letter opinion is attached. Hearings on procedural issues, including the Plaintiffs’ motion to Amend the Complaint to bring it up to date, are scheduled for June 19, 2018.