AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After retired Judge William Sowder recently released his “findings of fact and conclusions of law” in relation to his final judgment surrounding the city’s attempt at funding the Amarillo Civic Center Complex expansion and renovation project earlier this month, documents have begun to be filed in the Seventh Court of Appeals as both the city of Amarillo and Amarillo Businessman appeal the final judgment.
Both parties filed documents in the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo earlier this month, asking for an extension of time for each respective side to file its opening briefs until February 2023. This comes after Sowder ruled in late October that the city could not use $260 million in anticipation notes to fund the Civic Center project after the city violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, along with the Texas Government Code, the Texas Tax Code and the state’s constitution.
According to Fairly’s team’s motion, filed on Dec. 13 in the Seventh Court of Appeals, the team requested that a 30-day extension be granted for the team to file its opening brief, moving the deadline from Jan. 2, 2023, to Feb. 1, 2023. The city’s legal team made the same request on Dec. 14, following the same timeline.
This request for an extension was granted by the Seventh Court of Appeals, according to documents filed on Dec. 16, stating that “Fairly and the city shall each file their appellant’s briefs on or before Wednesday, February 1, 2023.”
In Fairly’s team’s motion, his legal team also asked for a request to consolidate the overall briefing in the appeals process, citing that the Seventh Court of Appeals does not have a local rule governing cross-appeals. This comes after both the city and Fairly filed their respective notices of appeal to challenge the final judgment in the case back in November.
In the motion, Fairly’s team states that the rules require the parties to file six briefs in the appeal, which could cover similar subject matter and issues as the other party.
“Because the factual background and legal issues of the cross-appeal are intertwined with the factual background and legal issues in the principal appeal, the parties can consolidate the briefing in this case to make it simpler and more efficient,” the documents read.
In its response, the city of Amarillo said that they oppose Fairly’s motion to consolidate the briefing and intends to file a response to that motion. As of Monday, the city’s legal team had not filed a response to that motion. However, in the response from the Seventh Court of Appeals, they denied Fairly’s team’s request to consolidate the briefings.
This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.
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