If you’re not familiar with what is often called “the Ekstrand suit,” I encourage you to take a look at this post.
Yesterday, Judge Beaty issued an order consolidating into one motion to dismiss separate motions to dismiss filed by various individuals and groups of defendants.
Beaty’s consolidation order, available in full here, includes the following:
All of these pending motions have now been fully briefed and referred to the Court forBear in mind I’m not an attorney.
Having undertaken a preliminary review of these matters, the Court notes that all of the Motions to Dismiss involve overlapping legal issues best addressed by the Court in a single determination that addresses all of the issues raised by the various Defendants.
Therefore, the Court enters this preliminary Order for administrative purposes to consolidate all of the pending Motions to Dismiss into a single Motion to Dismiss for determination by the Court.
The Court will consider the arguments raised by the parties in their respective briefs as part of the consolidated determination.
That said, I offer the following commentary:
Beaty’s motion is for certain a procedural one that allows him to address in one ruling identical dismissal claims made by multiple defendants. It should also allow him to deal in a more organized and precise way with dismissal arguments that are distinct but not entirely unrelated.
Beaty will take great care with his dismissal rulings. First, because as attorneys have told me, he’s a conscientious judge. There’s also the importance of the suit growing out of events which generated national and international attention, and led to the disbarment of a North Carolina district attorney, an action unprecedented in the state’s history.
Something else, Judge Beaty must know however he rules, there will almost certainly be appeals of his rulings.
Everything taken together, Beaty will work hard to,IMO, issue rulings that are very carefully reasoned based on relevant law and court rulings.
Final point: Keep in mind that as Beaty weighs dismissal arguments, he must also grant to the plaintiffs the presumption that what they claim in their filings is true.
If you’ve read attorney Ekstrand’s original and amended filings, you know he’s presented the court with an extraordinary amount of information regarding actions and inactions of the defendants.
The information is from witnesses and documents that directly refute claims made by various defendants to justify their actions and/or inactions.
For example, defendant Richard Brodhead, Duke president, claimed the Duke University Police Department had no authority to investigate the charges of false accuser Crystal Mangum; the authority rested with the Durham Police, Brodhead stated.
Ekstrand has provided the court with a copy of an agreement signed by representatives of Duke University and Durham City that directly contradicts what Brodhead claimed. The agreement was in force at the time Mangum made her false charges.
All in all, I think it’s a safe bet that as Judge Beaty looks at Ekstrand’s complaint filing and the defendants’ dismissal motions, he’ll find that at least most of what Ekstrand has alleged on the plaintiff’s behalf needs to be the subject of discovery proceedings.
What do you think?
Hat tip: sdsgo at Liestoppers Meeting