Mahaska County Lawsuit Attempt To Dissolve EMA/911 Proceeding Through Court System

OSKALOOSA – A second attempt by Mahaska County to dissolve the present composition of the Mahaska County Emergency Management and Mahaska County 911 is proceeding through the court system. No action has formally been taken on the most recent motion filed, that being a motion for summary judgement. A motion for summary judgement is a commonly used court proceeding in civil cases, which seeks to have the court immediately decide a case in favor of one side or the other.

Mahaska County’s motion for summary judgement was filed on August 24, with no date yet set for a hearing. That motion seeks to have the present merger of Mahaska County EMA/911 declared null and void. A previous Attempt by the Supervisors did just that in 2019, when Judge Crystal Cronk found that the 911 Service Board was not properly constituted.

After that ruling, EMA and 911 rectified the issues raised in Cronk’s ruling before merging again, prompting the Supervisors most recent request for declaratory judgement.

In the midst of proceedings over the motion for summary judgement, Mahaska County Emergency Management filed a request for an extension of time to obtain discovery or other evidence. That discovery included requested depositions of former Supervisors Mike Vander Molen and Mark Doland, who both were involved with the merger of Mahaska County Emergency Management/911.

Lawyers for Mahaska County resisted the attempt to collect the depositions, saying that lawyers for Mahaska County Emergency Management could not use any evidence collected regarding the original merger of Mahaska County EMA/911.

Judge Shawn Showers disagreed with the lawyers for Mahaska County and granted EMA additional time to obtain the discovery.

“The Court has considered the arguments of counsel and applicable law. The Court has also reviewed Judge Crystal Cronk’s Summary Judgment ruling in EQEQ088637. That ruling invalidated a 2015 28E agreement because the service board was not properly constituted. The only issue the Court is considering today is whether Defendants should have an extension to respond to Plaintiff’s summary judgment motion. The Court affirms the September 8, 2020 Order. The Court finds that this extension to file a resistance shall be extended until November 6, 2020,” Showers wrote in his ruling giving EMA/911 time to obtain the depositions.

Besides the motion for summary judgement, a motion for injunction currently remains outstanding. That motion seeks to prevent Mahaska County EMA from levying tax, has been done in the past, and shift the burden for EMA/911 onto the respective citizens of each incorporate community in Mahaska County. To date, a ruling on that motion has not yet been filed.

Posted by on Oct 19 2020. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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