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Judge Denies Disney’s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Brought By DeSantis’ Board

Judge denies Disney's motion to dismiss lawsuit from DeSantis' board
Credit: Disney

After taking two weeks to deliberate on the issue, Orange County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Schreiber has denied Disney’s request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The Walt Disney Company now has 20 days to respond to the case.

Glen Gilzean Ron DeSantis

Glen Gilzean and Ron DeSantis / Credit: Central Florida Urban League

Related: Disney World Just Got Less Safe. DeSantis Board Defunding The Police

Lawyer Daniel Patrocelli argued for Disney that the lawsuit filed by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District should be thrown out because Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature passed a law voiding all contracts between the Walt Disney Company and the Reedy Creek Improvement District. However, Judge Schreiber ruled that the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District case has merit and should be heard.

The two sides are at odds over agreements that Disney made with the Reedy Creek Improvement District before the takeover by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. Those agreements would have essentially rendered the new Board powerless against Disney until 28 years after the last living descendent of King Charles III diedGovernor DeSantis’ committee sued Disney to remove all of those deals. 

Ron DeSantis and Mickey Mouse

Credit: Flickr/Disney

The Walt Disney Company has filed a separate lawsuit in Federal Court against Governor Ron DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, claiming that DeSantis and the Florida Legislature retaliated against the company for speaking out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, known by its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney is accusing Governor Desantis of infringing on the company’s First Amendment rights.

This week has been interesting for the CFTOD and its chief tenant, Walt Disney World. Earlier this week, the Board announced that it would be cutting the property tax rate in the district. However, at the same meeting, it announced that it was cutting $8 million that Disney World uses for security.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis / Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

The Board explained the cut by saying it needed the money for lawyers to fend off the Disney lawsuit. The DeSantis appointees wanted to create economic opportunity in the district, and this was the best way to find money without raising taxes.

There is no timetable for Disney’s lawsuit against Florida Gov Ron DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District to be heard in Federal Court. However, Disney will respond to this setback within the next three weeks.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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