Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Local News


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published October 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 29, 2007 at 9:01 PM

Print

City wins court ruling in Sonics case

In a setback for Sonics owners, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled today that Seattle's lawsuit seeking to enforce the team's KeyArena...

Seattle Times staff reporter

In a setback for Sonics owners, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled today that Seattle's lawsuit seeking to enforce the team's KeyArena lease should remain in federal court.

Team owners had sought to send the case to binding arbitration in an effort to leave KeyArena before the lease ends in September 2010.

In his written ruling this afternoon, Martinez agreed with the city that the dispute revolves around the essential term or length of the lease. He called the Sonics' owners arguments to the contrary "as errant as a typical Shaquille O'Neal free throw."

Martinez did not rule on the underlying issue in the lawsuit — whether the Sonics should be allowed to pay the city to leave KeyArena early. That dispute will now be fought in federal court.

The ruling could delay efforts by team owners to relocate the Sonics and Storm to Oklahoma City.

Principal team owner Clay Bennett has said he'll file with the NBA for permission to move the teams after this season unless he gets an arena deal by Wednesday.

But the federal court process is likely to move much slower than arbitration, which Sonics attorneys said could have been wrapped up by the end of March.

A spokesman for the Sonics had no immediate comment this afternoon.

City Attorney Tom Carr said the city likely will seek depositions and other evidence as part of the discovery process in the case.

"We'll want some time. I assume the Sonics will want this decided tomorrow," Carr said. "I don't think that's going to happen."

Jim Brunner: 206-515-5628 or jbrunner@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

More Local News headlines...

Print      Share:    Digg     Newsvine

advertising

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

NEW - 7:51 AM
Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife

Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife

Longview mill spills bleach into Columbia River

NEW - 8:00 AM
More extensive TSA searches in Sea-Tac Airport rattle some travelers

Advertising

Video

Marketplace

'Nostrils' add flair and air to the faces of cars new
For years, auto designers lavished attention on the grilles of cars, both for their function and for their brand identity. Now designers seem to be lo...
Post a comment

Advertising