Defenders of I-1183 received a holiday gift last week from the Cowlitz County Superior Court. On Thursday, December 22, 2011, the Court issued two important rulings in the declaratory judgment action challenging the constitutionality of I-1183.

First, the Court granted the motion to intervene brought a group of supports of I-1183 led by Costco and the Washington Restaurant Association. In so ruling, the Court observed that those entities’ economic interests were implicated by challenge to I-1183 and that their interests were distinct from those of the State. Those entities now will be able to participate fully in the defense of I-1183.

Second, the Court denied the motion for preliminary injunction to block implementation of I-1183. The Court explained that I-1183 is the law of Washington and that Plaintiffs had not carried their heavy burden for altering that status quo.

Following that ruling and recognizing that the challenge to I-1183 turns largely, if not exclusively, on pure legal arguments, the Court set the following expedited schedule for summary judgment briefing and a trial date if necessary:

  • January 20, 2012: Opening Summary Judgment Briefs Due
  • February 10, 2012: Responsive Briefs Due
  • February 17, 2012: Reply Briefs Due
  • March 5, 2012: Summary Judgment Hearing
  • April 16, 2012: Trial

In setting this schedule, the Court stated that it welcomed extensive briefing on the issues presented. Thus, there might be an opportunity for the filing of amicus briefs.

We will continue to monitor developments in the case. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.