This morning, attorneys for Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer filed a motion in the pending lawsuit by Attorney General Mike DeWine. In today’s motion, PSV and MLS ask that the court allow them to submit a motion to dismiss that is longer than the 10 page limit set forth in Local Rule 12.01.
While this filing is not in itself a motion to dismiss, it does tell us that a motion to dismiss is forthcoming and does provide insight into the arguments that this motion will contain. Specifically, this motion gives us three new pieces of information: 1. PSV/MLS plan to file a motion to dismiss this case; 2. they would like to file a motion that is longer than the page limited permitted by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas; and, 3. they will argue that ORC 9.67 is unconstitutional.
In most court cases, a defendant will file a motion to dismiss as one of their first actions. A motion to dismiss is decided without arguing the merits of the case, so it allows PSV and MLS to make procedural arguments that the law itself is inapplicable without having to review evidence.
From this portion of the motion, it’s clear that PSV and MLS will argue that the law itself is unconstitutional. It’s likely that this particular motion regarding page length will be granted, so on April 19, 2018 we should have the full argument for why the defendants believe that ORC 9.67 is unconstitutional, though the gist of that argument is listed in this paragraph of the motion.
If the April 19 motion to dismiss is granted, PSV and MLS would be free from having to worry about the relatively toothless “Modell Law” and could continue their pursuit of moving Columbus Crew SC to Austin, Texas. However, that would not stop the City of Columbus from appealing the decision to a higher court. If the motion fails, the case would continue with both parties filing motions for summary judgment, which argues that the case should be decided based on the merits of the case without going to trial.
While today’s motion is not particularly important, it does let us know that on April 19 we should get a look at PSV and MLS’s motion to dismiss and get to see their arguments for why ORS 9.67 is unconstitutional.