Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Court Rules Sale of Parks, Removal of Confederate Statues Was Legal

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM

click to enlarge Minutes before Nathan Bedford Forrest's statue was removed from Health Sciences Park
  • Minutes before Nathan Bedford Forrest's statue was removed from Health Sciences Park

A Davidson County Chancery Court ruled Wednesday that Memphis' sale of two Downtown parks and nonprofit Memphis Greenspace's removal of three Confederate monuments was legal, dismissing a lawsuit initiated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Forrest Camp.

SCV Forrest Camp filed a lawsuit against Greenspace and the city of Memphis, asserting that the removal of the monuments violated state law, however Greenspace and the city maintain that the move was legal because the parks were sold before the statues were taken down.

Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle agreed, saying that the 2016 version of the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act doesn’t prohibit the sale of parks containing monuments. “The conveyance was legal and valid.”

SCV also asked the court to issue an injunction, prohibiting Greenspace from relocating or selling the statues.

Lyle denied this request, ruling that the court is not “empowered to” issue an injunction because the statues are no longer located on public property and the court therefore has “no basis” to issue one.

However, at the expense of SCV, who was ordered to post a $5,000 bond, the court issued a stay, preventing Greenspace from selling, transferring, or relocating the statues. The stay mandates that the statues are to remain stored in a secure, undisclosed location until July 27th.

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