Judge Denies Herring's Motion to Transfer Venue from Emporia to Richmond, Denies Herring's Attempt to Avoid Answering Sadler's Discovery In the Case, And Requires that Herring Provide Answers to Sadler's Questions Within the Next 21 Days
EMPORIA, Va., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Business owner and Virginia NASCAR legend Hermie Sadler had previously filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring and the Virginia ABC in the Circuit Court for Greensville County, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from the Court to rule that SB 971 (banning skill games in Virginia), passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Northam this year, is unconstitutional; and, Sadler seeks to have the skill games turned back on in convenience stores like his across the Commonwealth. The skill games ban that went into effect in Virginia on July 1, 2021 has adversely affected hundreds of small business owners (as well as convenience stores, truck stops, restaurants and bars) throughout the Commonwealth.
Since the filing of Sadler's lawsuit, Mark Herring, the Attorney General of Virginia has engaged in a continuous pattern to delay and avoid answering the Sadler lawsuit, as well as refusing to engage in discovery in the case, and declining to provide information and documents to Sadler's attorneys as required by law.
In furtherance of his strategy to hide evidence and avoid engaging in the litigation, Herring had previously filed a Demurrer to Sadler's lawsuit rather than answering it, filed a motion to transfer the lawsuit to Richmond rather than let it be heard in Emporia, Virginia (where Sadler's businesses are located), and went so far as to file a motion to delay the discovery proceedings so he and his clients would not have to answer the important questions and provide crucial evidence and documents relevant to the case.
After an hour-long motions hearing, the Court denied all of Herring's motions. As a result of the Court's decisions: 1. the case will remain in Emporia; 2. the Commonwealth, the Attorney General, the Governor and the ABC must now respond to the lawful and relevant discovery requests made by Sadler's counsel within the next 21 days; and 3. the Court ordered that a further hearing be held on October 12th to dispose of Herring's Demurrer to Sadler's written Complaint.
Bill Stanley and Ryan McDougle, attorneys for Hermie Sadler and the Sadler Brothers Oil Company made the following statement: "Today, the Attorney General's attempt to avoid and delay this lawsuit, a lawsuit that merely seeks to protect Hermie's constitutional rights as a small business owner, is finally over. His attempt to move this case out of Emporia and send it to Richmond and delay the case further, has now failed. The Attorney General's further attempt to avoid providing evidence to Sadler that is both vital and relevant to the case as required by law, has now failed. And, when the government's lawyer suddenly pronounced at the hearing that they were now abandoning their main argument to dismiss Sadler's lawsuit -- that small businesses did not have a right of free speech in Virginia – this was a tacit admission from the AG's office that they simply cannot defend the indefensible."
"This lawsuit must move forward, and now after the Court's ruling today, it will move forward. Despite his continuous attempts to delay and avoid the truth, the Attorney General cannot stop Hermie Sadler's fight for justice to protect the fundamental rights of small businesses against the unconstitutional overreach by the state government. We fully expect that as we now move forward with all speed and deliberation in this lawsuit, that Sadler's rights, and the constitutional rights of all small businesses across the Commonwealth that have been affected by this erroneous skill games ban, will be both recognized and protected by the Virginia Courts in the very near future" Stanley and McDougle concluded.
Hermie Sadler made the following statement after today's hearing: "I am thankful that we are now one step closer to getting this case to trial to protect my business and other small businesses from government overreach. The last few months have been challenging for small business operators and this unlawful action by Virginia to ban skill games in local convenience stores like mine has galvanized all store owners as a group to now fight for what is right. I look forward to October 12th as being yet another step in correcting this wrong, and having Virginia finally make it right."
Over 50 small business and convenience store owners were present in Court today to support Sadler, and to listen to the Court hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, attorney Bill Stanley presented evidence outside the Courtroom to the packed audience demonstrating that since the unconstitutional skill game ban was put in place, a proliferation of illegal gaming has occurred in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Contact: Chad Monday, The Stanley Law Group
Phone: (540) 721-6028
13508 Booker T Washington Hwy
Moneta, VA 24121
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SOURCE The Stanley Law Group