On August 12, 2011, the Supreme Court of Alabama issued a Writ of Mandamus to stay the enforcement of the trial court’s order of August 3 that the electronic bingo machines seized from Greenetrack be returned.
“It is ordered that the enforcement of the trial court’s order of August 3, 2011, is staying pending further order of this Court,”
It was signed by Justices Stuart, Bolin, Parker, Murdock, Shaw, Main and Wise.
Chief Justice Charles R. Malone and Justice Thomas A. Woodall did not sign the order.
Attorney General Luther Strange was pleased with the court’s ruling and said, ‘This is an important case and I am pleased with the Alabama Supreme Court’s order to hold until it has time to rule on the merits of the state’s appeal.”
Greenetrack CEO Luther
“Nat” Winn made this statement following Strange’s release:
“Opponents of legal electronic bingo clearly have friends on Alabama’s highest court who are willing to bend the rules to help them.
“Greenetrack calls on the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and the Alabama Governor to launch an investigation into this matter.”
Winn said that he felt both men should ask how and why a reporter from a Montgomery television received advance notice that the Supreme Court would grant the Attorney General’s motion and why wasn’t Greenpeace given an opportunity to respond to the motion as they had been directed by the Supreme Court.
“How many laws were violated when the Supreme Court appointed a special circuit judge in Greene County for the sole purpose of issuing an illegal search warrant?” asked Winn. “Greenetrack also calls on U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance to launch an investigation into this matter.”
August 9th Hearing
On August 4, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange requested an emergency hearing to stay the August 3 injunction issued by Judge Houston Brown to return the electronic bingo machines seized from Greenetrack. A hearing was set for August 9 to hear this argument.
The state argued once again that to return the machines would irreparably injure the their case because it would break the chain of custody and might negatively influence the Supreme Court.
Attorneys representing Greene-track argued that this was not even an issue since the evidence would be “unavailable to support a prosecution in the Criminal Court of the state or a civil forfeiture action in the Civil Court of the state.”
Charlanna Spencer, Esquire, an attorney for Greenetrack, argued that the state’s inability to follow the rules would be comical if it were not so devastating to the people of Greene County.
“The state did not follow the rules when they sought the warrant. There are deficiencies in the warrant itself. The state is attempting to turn this case into something it is not.”
She also said that the state admitted the machines seized met the definition of legal electronic bingo machines in the Amendment passed in 2003 legalizing the playing of electronic bingo in Greene County, then they turned around and said these machines could be readily converted to slot machines.
“The state should not be awarded for its ineptitude,” she said.
Spencer also argued that the citizens of Greene County were suffering, that E911 had lost funding, that the Sheriff’s Office had lost revenue, that both the local schools and the county commission had lost revenue and that the college students who were attending school on Greenetrack scholarships were suffering financial hardships.
“Either the state does not know or it does not care,” she said.
“It also nullifies the citizens’ votes. The Amendment legalizing electronic bingo in Greene County is part of the Alabama Constitution.”
Judge Brown advised both sides that if the warrant was incorrect, what was seized could not be used as contraband. He also told the state that he had never seen irreparable harm used in a criminal case. “I’d think it would apply in a civil case,” he said
Brown repeated that he had ruled on testimony taken under oath and his finding was that there was no probable cause to issue a warrant.
“The state has had nine weeks – that is a lifetime to the 400 people who are out of work,” said Brown, “I do have a letter received from Mr. Reagan (Deputy Attorney General) indicating that the machines would be returned by August 16,” Brown said.
Apparently that letter had no meaning when it came to keelping the machines that most Greene Countians feel were illegally seized by the state.
Weather for Eutaw, Ala. Wednesday Thursday FridayChance of a Thunderstorm88/70Chance of a Thunderstorm90/72Chance of a Thunderstorm88/72
- June 2013 (25)
- May 2013 (42)
- April 2013 (32)
- March 2013 (37)
- February 2013 (31)
- January 2013 (43)
- December 2012 (33)
- November 2012 (40)
- October 2012 (42)
- September 2012 (35)
- August 2012 (50)
- July 2012 (41)
- June 2012 (37)
- May 2012 (43)
- April 2012 (38)
- March 2012 (35)
- February 2012 (43)
- January 2012 (36)
- December 2011 (45)
- November 2011 (43)
- October 2011 (36)
- September 2011 (45)
- August 2011 (29)
- July 2011 (13)
- June 2011 (18)
- May 2011 (15)
- April 2011 (14)
- March 2011 (18)
- February 2011 (14)
- January 2011 (15)
- December 2010 (16)
- November 2010 (13)
- October 2010 (13)
- September 2010 (15)
- August 2010 (10)
TagsAlabama New South Coalition ANSC Bingo disbursement Black Farmer Lawsuit CEO Luther"Nat" Winn CFO Paula Bird Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell Dr. Martin Luther King Eutaw City Council Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA) Federation of Southern Cooperatives /Land Assistance Fund Fund First Lady Michelle Obama George Zimmerman Greene Co. Sheriff Joe Benison Greene County Board of Education Greene County Commission Greene County Commissioner Greene County High School Greene County School System Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison Greene County Superintendent Dr. Emma Louie Greenetrack Greenetrack Bingo Inc John Zippert Jr. Lester Brown Mayor Hattie Edwards Mayor Pro-Tem Hattie Edwards Mayor Raymond Steele Mitt Romney NAACP Nick Underwood President Barack Obama President Obama Rev. Al Sharpton SCLC Senator Hank Sanders Superintendent Emma Louie Superintendent Isaac Atkins Supreme Court The Black Belt Community Foundation BBCF Grants Trayvon Martin Vice President Joe Biden