Update: Cooper School closure lawsuit ruling – motion denied

July 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle school closure | 10 Comments

Just received from King County Superior Court Judge Gregory Canova – the “motion for summary judgment” filed by opponents to the closure of Cooper Elementary School has been denied, three weeks after the hearing, two weeks after the emotional last day of classes. That does NOT mean the end of the case. More in a moment, and we’ll upload the document too. ADDED 2:16 PM: Here’s the two-page ruling. Excerpt:

The Court finds that there are genuine issues of material fact as to the issues presented for summary judgment which precludes the Court from concluding that plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law …

In addition to this lawsuit, closure opponents also had filed federal civil-rights complaints, which as we reported the same day as the King County Superior Court hearing, have been consolidated into a “federal compliance review.” We have requests out for comment and will add whatever we receive. 4:32 PM UPDATE: Just talked with district lawyer Shannon McMinimee, who says, “We are pleased with the outcome of the summary judgment proceedings. We intend to proceed to defend this case and the other cases that were filed related to closure, which could include filing motions to dismiss all the cases over the course of the summer.” 11:19 PM UPDATE: Heard briefly from plaintiff Joy Anderson, who says, “This just means we have to go to court in the fall” – but also says she’ll likely have more to say tomorrow.

10 Comments

  1. But it does mean that the district won. The question I have is are these folks going to let it be now?

    Comment by Sasha — 2:07 pm July 2, 2009 #

  2. Actually, It doesn’t mean the district won. It is just one little skirmish in a larger war. This was a procedural victory and nothing else. A motion for summary judgment is more a necessary legal tactic than anything else. It is basically an assertion that both sides generally agree on the issues at hand and the bench should decide now rather than having both parties waste more time and money on a trial. But the judge decided that there are material differences over the facts of the case and thus it would be inappropriate for him to decide the case now and it should continue on to trial.

    Comment by christopherboffoli — 2:32 pm July 2, 2009 #

  3. That is my interpretation as well (Christopher and Patrick, who is offline at the moment, were the ones in court for WSB that day) and I am also pursuing comment from the plaintiffs – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:41 pm July 2, 2009 #

  4. How much money is this process costing Seattle’s already-cash-strapped school system? No doubt it will be measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Couldn’t that money be put to better use?

    Comment by DownTheStreet — 3:30 pm July 2, 2009 #

  5. Are you pursuing a comment from the district too?

    Comment by Sasha — 4:09 pm July 2, 2009 #

  6. Yup. Got requests out to both sides, have heard back from neither.

    Comment by WSB — 4:10 pm July 2, 2009 #

  7. And moments later, spoke with a district lawyer – adding to the story now.

    Comment by WSB — 4:28 pm July 2, 2009 #

  8. On behalf of taxpayers, kudos to the Cooper School protesters for making us spend our much-needed tax dollars defending a reasonable, necessary decision in an endless court battle, using any grounds you can think up.

    Comment by Michael — 6:03 pm July 2, 2009 #

  9. All I can say is at least the district used an in-house attorney to save some cost. The useless bleeding of money over frivilous cases kills me. I hope that they handle more cases in-house if they have the capacity.

    Comment by Bluberry — 8:37 pm July 2, 2009 #

  10. Meanwhile, teachers have spent countless hours moving into and setting up new classrooms, and hundreds of students have been assigned to teachers at their new schools. It’s time for these bitter grown-ups to let all of the students thrive in their new environments, and not make them wonder all summer about where they will go.

    Comment by neighborly — 9:01 pm July 2, 2009 #

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