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Law

Ohio Supreme Court won't hear parking lease case, restraining order denied also

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The Ohio Supreme Court has declined jurisdiction in the Cincinnati parking lease case.  City Solicitor John Curp confirmed that in an e-mail Wednesday morning.

The case involved whether city voters had a right to place the issue on the ballot.  A Hamilton County Common Pleas judge said it could go on the ballot, but an Ohio appeals courts overturned that decision.  The appeals court said the city could pass the parking lease as emergency ordinance and avoid referendum.

The Supreme Court decision should end the case.

"The primary issue of this case was whether the City of Cincinnati Charter permits City Council to enact emergency legislation or whether all legislation is subject to referendum," Curp said in a statement.  " By denying jurisdiction, the decision of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals stands as binding precedent for the future conduct of City business. "

Meanwhile, the city and parking lease opponents argued about a different issue Wednesday in a Hamilton County courtroom. Judge Ted Winkler is allowing Cincinnati's parking lease agreement to go forward.

Winkler denied a temporary restraining order request filed by the group COAST, which opposes the deal. The Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes alleged the city manager made modifications to the lease and council never signed off on the changes. 

Judge Winkler said council could have voted again and probably should have, but it let let the city manager do his job. 

The Port Authority, which is handing the lease, called this court action politics masquerading as a lawsuit. 

While the TRO was denied, COAST is still seeking an injunction. A  hearing on that is set for September 26th.