Judge Continues to Hear Motions in Lawsuit Over Downtown Statues
The legal battle over the possible removal of two statues from downtown Charlottesville is back in front of a judge.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The legal battle over the possible removal of two statues from downtown Charlottesville is back in front of a judge.
Charlottesville Circuit Court took up motions all day Friday, October 26, in the lawsuit filed by people attempting to halt a proposal from last year to move the statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson out of public parks.
Two groups and 11 individuals filed their lawsuit against the city back on March 20, 2017. The lawsuit argues that City Council – Mike Signer, Kathy Galvin, Wes Bellamy, Kristin Szakos, and Bob Fenwick - acted beyond its authority and violated a state law which prohibits removing monuments or memorials to war veterans.
Judge Richard Moore heard several motions Friday, including:
- Language in the plaintiffs’ lawsuit over the mention of “War Between the States."
- The value of the statues, which are believed to be more than $500,000 each.
- Use of the testimony from Lloyd T. Smith, Jr. as he has since passed away. He was also one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
- If the city will be allowed to used testimony from experts on racial issues.
- Allowing experts to weigh in on details and symbols found on the statues.
- Access to all text and emails regarding the statues from then-members of City Council dating as far back as March 2016.
There are currently two more trial dates set in this case: January 31, 2019 and February 1, 2019.
Around 5 p.m. Friday, the judge announced that the motions hearing had been continued, but no date has yet been set for when they'll reconvene.