Judge Denies Protect Fayetteville Injunction; Civil Rights Ordinance Election To Continue

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A judge denied a motion requesting an injunction for the Sept. 8 special election that was filed by a group that is against the Fayetteville civil rights ordinance.

On Thursday (Sept. 3), the judge denied the motion and cancelled the hearing that was supposed to be held Friday at 9 a.m..

The order was issued in response to Protect Fayetteville's lawsuit challenging the validity of the Uniform Civil Rights Protection Ordinance 5781 and the group's request for an injunction hearing to stop the special election. The lawsuit and motion for an injunction were filed Monday (Aug. 31).

In his order, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Doug Martin writes the challenge to the special election should have been filed with enough time to resolve all the issues before the election and the plaintiffs did not offer a compelling reason for why their motion was not filed sooner.

Danielle Weatherby with For Fayetteville said Judge Martin made the correct call.

"We're grateful to Judge Martin for denying the opposition's request to cancel this special election, it came at the twelfth hour the eve before the voters started voting and we're just really grateful for the outcome," Weatherby said.

To read order, click here.

Early voting in the special election continues Thursday and Friday. There will be no early voting Monday because of the Labor Day holiday. Election day is Sept. 8.

Protect Fayetteville appealed Judge Martin's order to the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday evening.

The notice of appeal stated the plaintiffs, Protect Fayetteville, intended to rely on two points:

  • that the Circuit Court erred when it denied the plaintiffs' motion for emergency temporary restraining order and a renewed motion for emergency temporary restraining order with a hearing under the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure on Sept. 3, 2015
  • that the court abused its discretion by vacating a mandatory hearing withing 2-7 days after the motion was filed to determine the cause.