Desantis, Florida Plan to File Motion to Dismiss Disney’s Lawsuit, Both Sides Agree to Schedule

Ron Desantis and the state of Florida plan to file a motion to dismiss Disney's lawsuit and both sides have agreed to a schedule.

  • A new court filing reveals the briefing schedule for Desantis’ motion to dismiss Disney’s lawsuit against him the Secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity, members of the Board of Supervisors for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), and the Administrator of CFTOD.

The filing reads as follows:

  • All Defendants intend to file motions to dismiss the amended complaint. Defendants request, and Plaintiff does not oppose, that the Court set the following briefing schedule for the motions to dismiss:
    • Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss: Due 6/26/23
    • Plaintiff’s Responses: Due 7/26/23
    • Defendants’ Replies: Due 8/9/23

  • This news comes just days after Desantis filed a motion to disqualify Chief Judge Mark E. Walker from Disney’s case against him and the state of Florida.
  • The motion specifically sites two specific previous cases in which Walker used Disney as an example of state retaliation, implying that the judge has “prejudged the retaliation question here.”

More on Disney’s legal battle with Florida:

  • Earlier this year, DeSantis signed legislation that allowed him to appoint his own members to the Reedy Creek Board, all of whom are mentioned and being sued in the lawsuit from the Walt Disney Company.
  • Earlier this month, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board filed a countersuit against Disney after the company filed a suit of their own against the state just a few days prior.
  • Disney is now asking a Florida judge to dismiss the suit, calling it “moot” and claiming that state law requires that the state court sideline the litigation until the company’s own federal case against Ron DeSantis is resolved.
  • Phrasing in the recently amended lawsuit from Disney includes, “The State’s actions over the last two weeks are the latest strikes. At the Governor’s bidding, the State’s oversight board has purported to ‘void’ publicly noticed and duly agreed development contracts, which had laid the foundation for billions of Disney’s investment dollars and thousands of jobs. Days later, the State Legislature enacted and Governor DeSantis signed legislation rendering these contracts immediately void and unenforceable. These government actions were patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional.”
  • Knowing DeSantis will do whatever he can, the lawsuit also adds “The Governor and his allies have made clear they do not care and will not stop. The Governor recently declared that his team would not only “void the development agreement”—just as the State has now done, twice—but also planned “to look at things like taxes on the hotels,” “tolls on the roads,” “developing some of the property that the district owns” with “more amusement parks,” and even putting a “state prison” next to Walt Disney World. “Who knows? I just think the possibilities are endless,” he said.”
  • It should also be noted that Disney is not the only one with a district similar to that of Reedy Creek, with The Villages retirement and 55+ community and even Daytona International Speedway operating with their own similar district with their own regulations.