Lawyers for probate plaintiffs have filed a motion asking the court to deny a probate judge’s order to halt the county’s removal of an injunction barring it from detaining or seizing property, including property owned by plaintiffs’ attorneys.
The attorneys argue the county cannot do so because the order was filed prior to the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order.
The order issued Thursday bars the county from removing the injunction until March 3, the filing said.
If the county loses, the motion argues, the plaintiffs will have to file a separate motion to keep the injunction in place.
The county also has an injunction that bars it from entering into any “negligent” settlement agreements with plaintiffs, such as a deferred payment plan.
The motion says it “must be permitted to proceed with the execution of the order.”
The motion was filed by attorneys for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for Constitutional Rights, the advocacy group that filed the suit.
The filing comes on the heels of a court hearing Wednesday in which lawyers for the county said they would be willing to negotiate settlement agreements and the county would need to prove it had no legal basis to remove the injunction.
The court heard arguments from the attorneys and the counties attorneys, who are defending the county in a lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers said Wednesday that the county had no authority to stop the county, and that it was only acting within its authority under state law.
The judge, Thomas R. Sullivan, was not immediately available for comment.
The judges motion also said the county was not allowed to file an application for a stay, which would halt the removal of the injunction while it works to come to a settlement with the plaintiffs, or a stay pending the outcome of a trial on the lawsuit.
Sullivan will make a ruling on the motion and the order on March 4.
The motions filed Wednesday also ask Sullivan to order the county to allow the plaintiffs to remain in their homes while the county works with them on the settlement, as well as a preliminary injunction barring the county and the plaintiffs from further engaging in litigation.