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Opus lawsuit moved to U.S. District Courts

Opus_Columbia_conceptual_rendering.jpg
Opus Group
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A lawsuit seeking to delay the Opus Group’s downtown student development project has been moved to federal court.

The United States Courts, Western District of Missouri will hear the case following a notice of removal filed last Thursday by attorney Christopher Rackers, representing the city of Columbia.

The lawsuit filed August 12 against the city of Columbia and City Manager Mike Matthes alleges a violation of the plaintiffs’ civil rights to free speech and to petition the government.

According to the notice filed by Rackers last Thursday, this gives the District Court original jurisdiction over the case. The notice also requests a trial by jury.

Attorney Jeremy Root filed the initial lawsuit on behalf of Columbia residents Betty Wilson and Michael MacMann. Wilson and MacMann were among the citizens who signed referendums to repeal two development agreements between the city and the Opus Group.

As of yet, no hearings have been scheduled.

A curious Columbia, Mo. native, Bram Sable-Smith has documented mbira musicians in Zimbabwe, mining protests in Chile, and the St. Louis airport's tumultuous relationship with the Chinese cargo business. His reporting from Ferguson, Mo. was part of a KBIA documentary honored by the Missouri Broadcasters Association and winner of a national Edward R. Murrow Award. He comes to KBIA most recently from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.