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Summit County seeks injunction to prevent Dakota Pacific from building during lawsuit

Along Tech Center Drive near the Skullcandy building in Kimball Junction, where Dakota Pacific hopes to build.
Parker Malatesta
Along Tech Center Drive near the Skullcandy building in Kimball Junction, where Dakota Pacific hopes to build.

Tuesday afternoon, Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson filed motions which could temporarily prevent Dakota Pacific Real Estate from developing its land in Kimball Junction.

Summit County sued the developer, along with the state of Utah and 50 other unnamed defendants, earlier this month. The county says the developer lobbied for language in Senate Bill 84 that would spot-zone Kimball Junction.

S.B. 84 would let Dakota Pacific build a mixed-use community outside the bounds of its current development agreement with the county, and it will become law May 2.

That could let Dakota Pacific begin building before courts rule on the lawsuit, but the motions filed by Summit County aim to prevent that from happening.

The motions ask for partial summary judgements from Judge Richard Mrazik.

In this case, Summit County has eight claims and wants partial summary judgment on two of those.

Essentially, that’s asking Judge Mrazik to rule that, one, the existing contract with Dakota Pacific is still binding and that, two, S.B. 84 does not apply to the land in question.

Ruling in Summit County’s favor on either point would prevent Dakota Pacific from building anything other than the tech offices the development agreement allows.

Utah law allows these injunctions in cases where the plaintiff could win, the plaintiff will be harmed if relief isn’t granted, the potential harm outweighs the harm of any injunction and such an injunction does not harm the public.

Usually, parties need to wait 21 days before moving for early judgments like these—that would be April 5 in this case. But Summit County filed extra documentation Tuesday arguing that it doesn’t need to wait that long.

How long it takes for a judge to grant an injunction varies. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer and Utah’s trigger law went into effect, a judge in Third District Court issued a two-week restraining order and issued a preliminary injunction immediately after that.

But two weeks might be the fastest timeline possible for the kind of injunction Summit County wants.

Corrected: March 28, 2023 at 9:00 PM MDT
An earlier version of this article incorrectly defined summary judgements. They are not rulings on the facts of the case but instead are judgements a party is entitled to by law.
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