By Sandi Soendker, managing editor
Court-ordered negotiations between OOIDA and the Minnesota State Patrol over fatigue enforcement have reached an impasse. OOIDA’s attorneys say this puts certain decisions back in the hands of the court.
When the U.S. District Court ruled in January that the Minnesota State Patrol’s fatigue enforcement procedures violated the U.S. Constitution, it also ruled that plaintiffs OOIDA and Member Steven K. House were entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief.
This means the plaintiffs were entitled to an order of the court instructing the defendants how they must change their practices in the future in order to not repeat their violations of the U.S. Constitution. But instead of immediately issuing such an injunction, the court ordered the parties to enter mediation to try to agree upon the appropriate injunction.
The parties met and conferred several times in the late winter and early spring, but were unable to reach such an agreement.
WHAT’S NEXT? The next step in the case will be for the judge to decide what that injunction should be. According to Paul Cullen Jr. of the Cullen Law Firm PLLC, both parties have asked the court to allow them to submit papers in the coming weeks with their competing versions of an injunction that the court should impose.
Although Major Kent O’Grady of the Minnesota State Patrol testified at trial last September that the patrol was changing its procedures and training related to fatigue, OOIDA is expected to argue that those changes are not sufficient to address the problems identified by the district court’s January ruling.
Cullen says these issues should be in the court’s hands by summer. LL