North Carolina Senate Takes Dead Aim Against Widen I-77
Today the North Carolina Senate is considering a bill that will require the court to award attorney’s fees to the state if they prevail in a lawsuit against a citizens’ group “contesting the State’s ability to construct transportation improvements.”
In other words, Widen I-77′s lawsuit.
The legal fees would be counted as TAXES AGAINST THE LAW FIRM, not the party bringing suit. The new statute would require the law firm to post a bond if they want to avoid the potential liability of the suit.
The clear intention is to scare off any attorney from representing all but the most deep-pocketed citizen’s groups… in others words, hand-to-mouth organizations like Widen I-77.
The original House bill contained only one unrelated paragraph and was sponsored by Rep Pat McElraft. She represents district 13, Cateret and Jones counties (i.e. Outer Banks). The revisions were added in the Senate Rules and Operations Committee by staff attorneys.
For years now Widen I-77 has fought the unfair, expensive, foreign-owned toll lane project. The past few months have seen business and local government join together in opposition. Tomorrow (June 30) a contingent of business leaders will press their case in Raleigh.
But for the lonely months in between, Widen I-77 was the only group carrying the anti-toll torch. When the political solution failed, we turned to litigation as a last resort.
Now the North Carolina Senate wants to take that option away as well.
If you wish to inquire where your Senator stands on this bill:
Meckenburg’s Senator is Jeff Tarte.
Iredell’s Senator is David Curtis.
Here is a copy of the Senate version:
Here is the Senate summary:
Short URL: http://pundithouse.com/?p=18926