Occupy Chattanooga filed a motion this morning to dismiss the Hamilton County Commission's lawsuit against the group in federal court, arguing it's too soon for the matter to be in court.
Though the commission passed new rules earlier this month governing public use of county property, no enforcement action has been taken against the Occupy group. Instead, a week after passing the new rules, the commission sued the group and nine individually named defendants in federal court asking for a ruling that they are constitutional and enforceable.
Occupy and its attorneys, including D.C.-based Public Citizen Litigation Group, says federal court is not the appropriate place for an advisory opinion about whether a local law is valid.
"Permitting such suits would authorize local governments to drag their political opponents into court to seek advisory opinions, rather than waiting for concrete disputes to happen," the group's motion states.
The group is asking the court to schedule oral arguments on the motion to dismiss.
"The county's request for costs and fees highlights the absurdity of the suit, which seeks to make the defendants, who have no demonstrated interest in the validity of the ordinance, financially responsible for a judgment in which they have no stake," the group's motion states.
For more, see Tuesday's Times Free Press.