Doug Mann Responds to Court Ruling on Vikings Stadium Lawsuit

Updated: 01/21/2014 8:28 PM By: Cassie Hart

Photo: Doug Mann's Facebook page
Photo: Doug Mann's Facebook page

Doug Mann, an activist and former Minneapolis mayoral candidate, filed the Supreme Court lawsuit on Jan. 10, arguing the stadium funding plan was unconstitutional. But the state's highest court disagreed. He is responding to the court ruling.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

by Doug Mann

This afternoon the public relations office of the Supreme Court of Minnesota announced the dismissal a petition for a writ of prohibition to restrain Jim Showalter, commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget from issuing and selling appropriation bonds to build a new Vikings stadium. The Court dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, saying that this is a "tax issue" that should originate in District Court. The constitutionality of the law and statute authorizing the sale of appropriation bonds was not addressed at all. 

Shortly after 4:00 PM came the announcement of an order dismissing the petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the order of Nov. 12, 2013 by Judge Bush, Hennepin County district court, dismissing a petition for a writ of mandamus to command the City Council to refer approval of the use of city resources in excess of 10 million dollars on a professional sports facility. The City challenged the petition on procedural grounds, stating that I had the option of appealing with writ of error rather than a writ of mandamus. The Court of Appeals decision dismissed the petition on that narrow procedural issue.      

Just before the Court of Appeals decision was announced by the appellate courts public relations office, I had filed a response to the City's answer to my petition in the Court of Appeals, a "Demurrer" to the City's answer. The Minneapolis City Attorney, Hennepin Court District Court Judge, the Honorable Phillip D. Bush, and Attorney General Lori Swanson were personally served prior to the filing. The Demurrer to the City's answer addresses the objection to granting mandamus relief on procedural grounds, as well as the substantive issues in the case, and is attached to this message. 

Motions for surety bonds in both cases were dismissed as being moot.      

I will consider my appeal options in the lawsuit against the city, decide whether to take further action within a few days. Given the stance taken by the Supreme Court on the writ of prohibition, and amazingly quick action by both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, a request for review by the Supreme Court seems unlikely to be granted. The ruling by the Court of Appeals on the procedural issue is questionable, as my Demurrer to the City's answer might suggest. Also, I reviewed mandamus petitions filed in the Court of Appeals within the past year challenging legal errors by District Court judges in their orders dismissing mandamus petitions, the same procedure that I used, as part of my research into appeal options. 

I have not been formally notified of today's actions of the Courts. I did get a test email message from the Appellate Courts' email notification system that indicates the Court's could have notified me before the press. I got notification via phone and email from members of the press corp.   

-Doug Mann