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No ruling on North Augusta's Project Jackson trial; Plaintiff Stephen Donohue failed to submit proposed order

Thursday, July 24, 2014 7:53 PM
Last updated Friday, July 25, 2014 2:24 AM
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A South Carolina judge won’t rule this week on the fate of North Augusta’s Project Jackson after the plaintiff failed to submit a written proposed order by Thursday.

Barnwell attorney James Mosteller, who represents North Augusta home­owner Stephen Donohue, did not submit his proposed order, according to Kyle Tennis, the law clerk for Circuit Court Judge Ernest Kinard.

North Augusta’s attorney, Belton Zeigler, filed the proposed order the judge requested to make his ruling after the trial.

Because Kinard leaves for vacation today, the judge won’t revisit the case until he returns in August, at the earliest, Tennis said.

Donohue, who opposes the site for a new Augusta GreenJackets stadium near his neighborhood, sued the city in December, claiming the city violated the state’s Tax Increment Financing law when it created an ordinance to fund the project.

He says there was no evidence to support the development area as blighted, a requirement for a TIF district.

Kinard heard arguments in the trial on July 18 in Aiken County court. He asked both sides to submit proposals on what the ruling should be.

Tennis said he did not know why Donohue’s attorney did not submit the proposal.

Project Jackson is a proposed $144 million development that also includes a hotel, conference center, and retail and residential space.

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bdouglas 07/24/14 - 10:38 pm
Throw the case out. If he

Throw the case out. If he doesn't care enough to submit what he's supposed to WHEN he's supposed to, he has no right to be wasting the court's time.

raul 07/25/14 - 12:26 am
"Kinard heard arguments in

"Kinard heard arguments in the trial on July 18 in Aiken County court. He asked both sides to submit proposals on what the ruling should be." I'm confused about that wording. I mean wouldn't the arguments presented in court provide that information?

jbarrychristian 07/25/14 - 06:52 am
Of course he didn't file his

Of course he didn't file his proposal. The judge said that if they didn't he wouldn't rule until September. That is an extra delay which is in Donahue's interest. As soon as I read that the judge said that at the end of the hearing I knew the plaintiff wouldn't file in time. This really shouldn't surprise anyone.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 07/25/14 - 09:11 am

That's exactly right, jbarry. The conventional time span to produce documents in the court system is 30 days. For the judge to suggest to the parties that they quickly produce a draft court order in a day or two is way outside the norm.

And, by the way, the plaintiff is correct in this case. For the city to call that prime riverfront real estate "blighted" is absurd.

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