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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pena Request for Preliminary Injunction Regarding Exclusion Upheld

It has been reported by John Brennan of The Record that Lou Pena's request for a preliminary injunction against Jeff Gural and the Meadowlands has been denied by Judge Chesler of the U.S. District Court in Newark.  According to Chesler, Gural made a business decision and Pena did not prove the state was involved which would have given Pena his constitutional rights, thus denying the private property rights Gural and the New Meadowlands Racing are entitled to.

At this time, it is the request for a preliminary injunction which has been denied.  It is unknown if there will be an appeal of Judge Chesler's decision or if Pena will proceed with the case.  Based on the judge's decision, it would be hard to imagine Pena getting the relief he wishes if he can't prove the state had any involvement in the decision.  Being the NJSEA lost a prior case regarding exclusion, one has to think the NJSEA stayed clear of getting involved in the decision of Pena being excluded or not. 

The judge cited a case involving Dover Downs, another track in the third district which banned a couple of owners and trainers where Dover Downs excluded the individuals despite the state awarding dates to race and licensing participants.  The judge claims the fact the NJSEA owns the land is irrelevant in this case; Gural is in complete control of the property for all practical purposes.

After seeing the initial pleadings I had no doubt a preliminary injunction would not be granted as Pena was unlikely to prevail in the case which is key to be granted a preliminary injunction. The factual errors in Pena's pleading certainly didn't help the case.

The judge clearly made the right decision.  Going to my analogy of a contractor.  If a contractor wants to work on your house and you didn't like the way he looked, you as a private property owner have the right not to have him do the work.  As a private property owner or lessee, you do not have to give the contractor his rights to due process under the Fourteenth Ammendment of the Constitution.

We'll have to see where things go from here.  It may all be over or things may continue.  Pena's chances of prevailing are now 30-1.

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