FEDERAL LAWSUIT FILED SEEKING DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

by Elliott Stonecipher

On Monday of this week, the Finish 3132 Coalition, LLC and Willis-Knighton Health System filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division.  The Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief  names as defendants:

(1)    Ray LaHood, Secretary of the U. S. Department of Transportation,
(2)    the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LDOTD)
(3)    the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG)
(4)    Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc. (consultants selected to conduct the La. Hwy. 3132 “Stage 1 Feasibility Study”)
(5)    Cedric L. Glover, individually, Mayor of Shreveport

(6)    Ron No
rwood, individually, Shreveport City Engineer
(7)    J. Kent Rogers, individually, Executive Director of NLCOG
(8)    Timothy A. Larkin, individually, a resident of Bossier City, LA (and member, Bossier City Council)
(9)    Larkin Development North, L.L.C.
(10)  Larkin Development at Railsback, L.L.C.

The filing of the lawsuit in federal court follows a related filing in First Judicial District Court, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, on September 4, 2012.

As is the case with the earlier state court lawsuit, the Coalition and WKHS do not seek monetary damages.  Rather, we seek:

(1)  A declaratory judgment that the public hearings in the “Stage 0 Feasibility Study” for the 3132 Extension were “procedurally and substantially inadequate and insufficient.”  Specifically noted are the improper and invalid suppression of public involvement in that study, as well as the withholding from the public of some of the 3132 Extension route options.
(2)  A preliminary injunction to “preserve and maintain the status quo” pending a trial.

Bridge to Nowhere-before
(Click to see full-size image)

(3)  A temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting Larkin and his companies and agents from proceeding with the construction of his Forbing Ridge Road which connects the Esplanade development’s bridge over Bayou-Pierre with and into Flournoy-Lucas Road.

As we reported to you last week, Larkin is building the referenced roadway in direct violation of all local and other ordinances, statutes and constitutional provisions which prohibit him from doing so.  Based exclusively on the direct and unlawful intervention of Mayor Cedric Glover and Shreveport City Engineer Ron Norwood, Larkin – an elected city councilman in Bossier City – proceeded with construction even after the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) twice, unanimously each time, rejected his request, as did the Shreveport City Council.

Elliott Stonecipher