Court rejects lawsuit against SDSU West - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Court rejects lawsuit against SDSU West

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - SDSU West proponents Friday praised the Superior Court of California's recent decision to reject a lawsuit alleging improper use of the San Diego State University name.

The lawsuit was filed in April by backers of the SoccerCity initiative which proposes a 23,500-seat soccer stadium and mixed-use spaces for the Mission Valley stadium site.

Friends of SDSU, a coalition of university alumni, community and business leaders, instead calls for a new 35,000-seat Aztecs football stadium and other amenities at the site.

Both initiatives appear headed to the November ballot, pending legal review. Whichever receives the most votes -- provided its over 50 percent -- will earn rights to negotiate with the city over plans for the stadium site.

The lawsuit claimed Friends of SDSU tricked San Diegans into signing a petition to get the initiative on the ballot by making it appear that the university had sanctioned the proposal. By law, the school is prohibited from endorsing an initiative.

Bill Hammett, Friends of SDSU steering committee member, said the court's rejection of the lawsuit affirms the SDSU West initiative's place on the November ballot.

Hammett said the decision "also makes it clear that the frivolous FS Investors-backed lawsuit lacked any merit in its allegations, because SDSU West fully complies with California State Law, San Diego City Charter and the California Education Code."

SoccerCity response to ruling: 

"While we respect the court's ruling as a first step in this process, we have always believed this would be resolved in an appeals court.  The judge looked for a precedent, but there has never been such a brazen attempt to mislead voters in San Diego. Neither the judge's ruling nor the defense attorneys during open court disputed the facts that voters were being misled; the judge simply could not find a comparable example to guide how the case should be handled, ruling instead on technical standing grounds.

"We look forward to an appeals court opining on whether the voters of San Diego have a right to be truthfully informed or whether the rival private developers calling themselves 'SDSU West' have a right to mislead the public with their initiative."

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