The Indian River Neighborhood Association (IRNA) successfully filed in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals an Amicus Brief in support of an appeal Indian River County (IRC) has made in a lawsuit it brought against the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The IRNA has submitted the brief on behalf of its members and the IRC residents.

The lawsuit challenged the validity of the allocation USDOT made of private activity bonds (PABs) subsequently issued to help finance the All Aboard Florida/Brightline/Virgin Trains Project. The appeal is taken from a ruling of the Federal District Court made against the IRC’s challenge (as well as an IRC claim that USDOT violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA)).

All Aboard Florida (AAF) had intervened in the lawsuit on the side of USDOT. In an order issued by a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court, AAF failed in its attempt to prevent the Amicus Brief from even being filed and considered by the Circuit Court. In its order the panel also granted USDOT and AAF an extra month to file their Answer Briefs in the appeal now scheduled for July 11.

In its Amicus Brief the IRNA expanded upon the reasons why it contends the IRC’s lawsuit on the allocation claim is well founded and the Federal District Court decision as to that claim should be reversed. Upon request the IRNA will email to any interested party a copy of the Amicus Brief.

A ruling of the Circuit Court that reverses the District Court decision on the allocation claim would impair the tax-exempt status of the PABs unless such a ruling is overturned by the Federal Supreme Court.

Please contact us if you have any questions about this issue. A copy of the Amicus Brief may be downloaded here.