Conference held in Buckeye Firearms Foundation v. Cleveland

By Jim Irvine

On June 17th, Judge Corrigan held a case management conference in Buckeye Firearm Foundation's case against the City of Cleveland. Plaintiffs were present in person, but none of the Defendants attended and instead allowed their attorneys to represent them. While the conference was scheduled as a case management conference, it quickly became apparent that the various pending motions would be argued for the judge.

There are three pending motions in the case. One is a motion by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to intervene as a Plaintiff. Another motion is by all Defendants to "stay," or stop, the case while their appeal against the state of Ohio is heard by the appellate court. The third motion is by Plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction.

In essence, Cleveland is attempting to stop our case as long as possible, so they may continue to prosecute people under their ordinances, which will eventually be held invalid. If this happens, the delay will be measured in years, and the people arrested, prosecuted and convicted will not be un-arrested or un-convicted 3-4 years later when the ordinances are held invalid.

Clearly the interests of justice, and the case law on granting a stay, requires that Cleveland stop prosecuting people during the period of the stay. Judge Corrigan was made aware of that in our brief and during the conference.

Right now, all of the parties are awaiting rulings on these motions. The Attorney General will be allowed to intervene, aligned with the Plaintiffs. The only real question is whether the judge will grant the injunction THEN stay the case, or simply stay the case and allow Cleveland to continue to prosecute people under their ordinances. In the event this happens, the Plaintiffs may seek a writ of procedendo from the Ohio Supreme Court. In essence, this writ seeks to have the court find the stay was improper and order the case to proceed. No decision has been made on that course, and the Plaintiffs await the ruling before deciding how to proceed.

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