Dane County Court Dismisses Act 10 Lawsuit Without Ruling on the Merits

Published on: September 29, 2015

Second case on behalf of taxpayers will move forward

September 29, 2015, Milwaukee, WI – Yesterday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty on behalf of David Blaska alleging that the Madison Metropolitan School District and Madison Teachers Inc. entered into a collective bargaining agreement in violation of Act 10.

The lawsuit was dismissed on procedural grounds, and Judge Niess made no ruling on the merits of the case. A second case, brought on behalf of Madison taxpayer Norman Sannes, raises the same Act 10 claims and meets all necessary procedural requirements to move forward.

WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg commented on Judge Niess’ decision, “We are reviewing the decision. It is important to understand that Judge Niess did not rule on the merits of our argument – that the collective bargaining agreement between MMSD and MTI are illegal and unenforceable.”

However, the procedural issue is important. Judge Niess concluded that taxpayers who do not seek damages, but merely wish to stop local governments from acting unlawfully, must comply with Wisconsin’s time-consuming notice of claim provisions. WILL continues to believe that taxpayers have the right to immediately go to court to stop unlawful government action as other circuit courts have recognized.

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