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City Attorney's Statement on Decision to File Suit Against State

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Contact: Kim McMillan, Corporate Communications & Marketing
(704) 336-2643 or 

"At the direction of the Mayor and City Council, immediately after the Senate concurred with the House version of the bill, I filed a lawsuit in Mecklenburg County Superior Court against the State of North Carolina and the purported Authority.  Following a hearing this afternoon, Judge Robert Sumner issued a temporary restraining order preventing the law from taking the effect.  Unless the parties otherwise agree, by rule a preliminary injunction hearing will be held within ten days.  While today served as a significant victory for the City, this is just the beginning of this litigation. 

Through this action, the City of Charlotte is seeking a court order to prohibit the taking of Charlotte Douglas International Airport and a declaration that the General Assembly acted unconstitutionally.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the legislature acted illegally for the following reasons:

(1) The North Carolina Constitution requires legislation dealing with airports to be by general law – including the requirement that legislation be presented to the Governor for possible veto – and not by local act.  This bill was run as a local act and deprived Governor McCrory the opportunity to exercise his constitutional responsibilities.

(2) The City’s bond trustee has asserted that the transfer of the Airport would be an event of default under relevant bond documents, something that would seriously and irreparably harm the City’s and, perhaps, the State’s credit rating.

(3) The General Assembly’s attempt to unilaterally transfer the City’s Federal Aviation Administration operating certificate ignores the fact that only the FAA may approve such a transfer.

(4) If the State is successful in seizing Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the City –  and its citizens – are entitled to just compensation."

Bob Hagemann, City Attorney
City of Charlotte

See associated legal documents below.

City of Charlotte Complaint.pdfCity of Charlotte Complaint.pdf

Temporary Restraining Order.pdfTemporary Restraining Order.pdf