Attorney Refiles Dismissed Lawsuit Against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Disney’s Reedy Creek Battle

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Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the dissolution of Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Reedy Creek Fire Dept.
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

Last week, Miami attorney William Sanchez refiled the lawsuit in Florida State Court on behalf of taxpayers, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

The original dismissed lawsuit, filed by Osceola County residents Michael, Leslie, and Eduardo Foronda and Orange County resident Vivian Gonzalez, read:

“It is without question that Defendant Governor DeSantis intended to punish Disney for a 1st Amendment protected ground of free speech. Defendant’s violation of Disney’s 1st Amendment rights directly resulted in a violation of Plaintiffs’ 14th Amendment rights to due process of law.”

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department Website

The new lawsuit alleges Governor DeSantis violated Florida’s 1967 Reedy Creek Statute, the Florida Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and the Florida Constitution, which Sanchez argues are stricter than the U.S. Constitution. In an interview with the Orlando Business Journal, Sanchez said:

“We truly believe we are on firm footing before the state court. The federal court judge viewed the case more through the prism of the First Amendment argument which is Disney’s to make. Although there is case law which also gives third parties rights to raise another party’s First Amendment rights, we chose to not appeal the federal judge’s decision. We believe our Florida taxpayer rights are going to receive greater protection in state court.” 

The new complaint accuses DeSantis of a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights violation and that the state infringed on the plantiffs’ right to be involved in proceedings that could affect them.

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

According to the Orlando Business Journal, the lawsuit requests explicitly the following:

The initial bill (SB 4-C) to be held unlawful and set aside; an injunction from the bill’s enforcement; provide the plaintiffs right to be involved in any proceedings regarding any tax assessments related to the dissolution of Reedy Creek; and more.

Following The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek’s statement against the Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” Republican politicians from around the country have been speaking out against the Walt Disney Company and the special privileges the Disney Parks have historically received in the United States.

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

Related: Senator Called a Hypocrite After Using GOP Funds For Disney Vacation

In an act perceived by many as retaliatory, Gov. DeSantis introduced and passed the legislation last month to dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, effective in 2023. The Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967 allowed Walt Disney World Resort to pay for and operate its municipal services privately, saving the state of Florida and its taxpayers billions of dollars.

No hearings for the new lawsuit against Governor DeSantis have been scheduled as of May 31. Inside the Magic will report on any significant updates in the case.

reedy creek disney honor guard
Credit: Reedy Creek Honor Guard via Facebook

What do you think of the lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis? Let us know in the comments. 



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