CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville judge has issued a key opinion in the legal battle over two statues in public parks.

Judge Richard E. Moore recently accepted the plaintiffs Second Amended complaint in a lawsuit that was first filed March 20, 2017. Moore appears to have signed the court document on November 19, 2018, though front page is dated November 17, 2018.

Groups and individuals have been seeking to overturn a decision by Charlottesville City Council to remove the statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson from what are now Market Street and Justice parks, respectively.

At first, the lawsuit only mentioned the Lee statue, but was amended on October 11, 2017 to include Jackson. Plaintiffs are also attempting to hold Charlottesville and City Council responsible for any damage the statues might have incurred while under “mourning shrouds” – tarps put in place following the deaths of Heather Heyer, Virginia State Police Lieutenant Jay Cullen, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

In this new court document, Judge Moore writes, “I am very sorry that I have not been able to make a ruling on this before now. I realize we are just 8 weeks from trial, but I do not think that I should hold the Court’s delinquency or slowness against the Plaintiffs.”

The three-day trial is currently set to start in Charlottesville Circuit Court on January 14, 2019.