• Wrinkles in Detroit’s Bankruptcy Filing

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    113866685 (1)By Curt Guyette

    PUBLISHED: JULY 31, 2013

    Some of the mind-bending details that might otherwise be overlooked.

    In this week’s Metro Times you will find articles examining what those on the outside of the Detroit fishbowl are saying about the city’s historic default and attempt to be declared legally bankrupt.

    Here at the Hits, though, we’ve been immersed in the issue for a while, which means instead of the big-picture view others are providing, we’re here to bring you some of the mind-bending details that might otherwise be overlooked.

    For example, there’s the not-so-insignificant fact that, as a result of the recent bankruptcy filing, all lawsuits against the city have been put on hold.

    We found that out after being notified by attorney Shaun Godwin that a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed on our behalf against the city had been halted, at least temporarily. (We’re trying to pry loose a video of a meeting that took place earlier in the year between representatives of the Jones Day law firm, restructuring consultant Miller Buckfire and Detroit City Council staff. The suit was filed when the city failed to respond to our request asking for a copy of the video recording of that meeting.)

    What the hell does a FOIA lawsuit have to do with bankruptcy? To get a definitive answer to that question, we went to Bill Nowling, spokesman for Emergency Manger Kevyn Orr.

    Along these same lines, we’ve also been wondering what effect, if any, last week’s rulings by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes might have on three federal court cases challenging the legality of the state’s emergency manager law.

    The answer, obtained after consulting several attorneys working on the cases, was: “We’re not sure.”

    It is an important question, at least to the team of highly opinionated non-lawyers here at the Hits. If, in fact, the state’s EM law — officially designated PA 436 — is deemed unconstitutional, wouldn’t that mean the bankruptcy filing it led to is invalid?

    Before that is answered though, attorneys need to hear from Judge Rhodes if it’s his intent to wrap the cases challenging the EM law into the bankruptcy proceedings, or if he will allow them to move forward in the courtroom of Hon. George Steeh, the U.S. District Court judge who was originally assigned the cases.

    News Hits is written by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com.

    Read the rest of this article and more of the conspiracies happening in the Metro Times 

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