SoccerCity’s Effort To Force SDSU West Off The Ballot Fails In Court

Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil denied FS Investors request to remove the SDSU West initiative from the ballot, confirming his tentative ruling.

Judge Wohlfeil noted he was, “not persuaded that Plaintiffs have standing to enforce Education Code section 89005.5. Even if they did have ‘beneficial interest’ or ‘taxpayer’ standing, this would not necessarily permit for an action directing election officials to invalidate an initiative petition.”

The Court concludes that the statement of reasons is an advocacy document, but it does not contain misleading assertions of fact that are false beyond dispute.
Judge Joel Wohlfeil, San Diego Superior Court

SoccerCity attorneys tried to demonstrate that the Friends of SDSU statement of reasons document was misleading and violated the law. To this Wohlfeil ruled, “The Court
concludes that the statement of reasons is an advocacy document, but it does not contain misleading assertions of fact that are false beyond dispute.”

Read his final ruling below:

Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil’s Final Ruling:

Lawsuit Background

A lawsuit brought by SoccerCity charged that the Friends of SDSU initiative violated the education, government and elections code by using the SDSU logo and name in marketing and advertising materials for their initiative to remake Mission Valley into SDSU West.

This was the first of three lawsuits set to go before Superior Court judges this summer. The next court hearings re: the City Attorney’s lawsuits are expected to begin in July.

You can find IVN San Diego’s coverage of the judges tentative ruling here.

Friends of SDSU Responds

The Friends of SDSU released the following statement:

Today’s decision also makes it clear that the frivolous FS Investors-backed lawsuit lacked any merit in its allegations, because SDSU West fully complies with California State Law, San Diego City Charter and the California Education Code.
Bill Hammett, Friends of SDSU Steering Committee

Today the Superior Court of California rejected a lawsuit backed by SoccerCity promoters to remove SDSU West from the November ballot, declaring Friends of SDSU and its SDSU West initiative’s use of the San Diego State University name in its campaign is legal and appropriate. Today’s ruling also affirmed the intention of the SDSU West initiative to empower the City of San Diego to sell the Mission Valley stadium site to San Diego State University at fair market value for a campus expansion including research facilities, a stadium and river park.

“The court’s decision affirms that SDSU West creates the opportunity to expand San Diego State University and grow the regional economy through an open and transparent process,” said Bill Hammett, Friends of SDSU steering committee member. “Today’s decision also makes it clear that the frivolous FS Investors-backed lawsuit lacked any merit in its allegations, because SDSU West fully complies with California State Law, San Diego City Charter and the California Education Code.”

SoccerCity has yet to respond to IVN San Diego’s request for a news release.