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Lawsuit Over Detroit Pistons’ Move Dismissed

Detroit Pistons

A lawsuit concerning funds for a Detroit Pistons‘ move to Little Caesars Arena has been dismissed, as the plaintiffs in the case withdrew their complaint. 

Filed on June 1 by Robert Davis and D. Etta Wilcoxon, a federal lawsuit against various city agencies–including the Detroit Downtown Development Authority and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority—-claimed that $34.5 million proposed for the project could not be authorized without a public vote. A request for a temporary restraining order by the plaintiffs was denied by a federal judge in June, allowing the Detroit City Council to approve the $34.5 million in funding for changes to Little Caesars Arena that would accommodate the Pistons.

On Saturday, the lawsuit was dismissed after the plaintiffs voluntarily withdrew their case. Instead, the plaintiffs intend to pursue a lawsuit against the Detroit Public Schools Community District. More from

Davis and Wilcoxon filed the initial complaint in early June against the Detroit Downtown Development and Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment authorities. They contended the authorities violated residents’ right to vote by using money generated by the Detroit Public Schools operating and the Wayne County parks millages for unintended purposes, bringing the basketball team to Little Caesars Arena.

A judge on June 19 declined to issue a restraining order to tie up the nearly $34.5 million set aside to move the Pistons next season from The Palace in Auburn Hills.

Filed Monday, the latest complaint asks a judge to ban revenue produced by the 18-mills public schools operating tax from being allocated for a different objective without consent of district voters. Davis has requested the school board put the question up for vote in November, but the board’s lawyer said last month it was her initial opinion that the board did not have the legal authority to do so.

Little Caesars Arena is set to open this fall for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, and the Pistons announced last November that they intend to join the Red Wings at the new venue beginning in the 2017-18 season. The Pistons have played outside of Detroit’s city limits for decades, and are planning to move to the new venue from The Palace of Auburn Hills, where they began play in 1988.

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