Historic City News reviewed details of the third amended complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the City of St Augustine as submitted by the Plaintiffs, H.K. Edgerton, William C. McCrae, Wade Ross, Jill Pacetti, and James Parham on July 8, 2022. At issue are injuries sustained at the hands of City officials who the Plaintiffs claim gave in to threats and intimidation when they improperly removed a 140-year-old memorial from the Plaza de la Constitucion.
The case 3:20-cv-00941-BJD-PDB, was verified through the Jacksonville Division of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Friday, July 29, 2022. The amended complaint is Document 57 in the case file.
The Plaintiffs are asking the Court to grant them the following relief:
- At their expense, an Order directing the City to transport the Memorial back to the Plaza, reinstall the Memorial where it was removed from the Plaza, and repair any damage caused by transportation or vandalism in a respectful, sensitive, and safe way and in no way damaging it. Or, if that is not possible, erect a similar edifice acceptable to Plaintiffs in the Plaza.
- Order to include a requirement for a written Restoration Plan and supervision of restoration by Historic Preservation Professional that meets the Secretary of Interior Standards for Professionals, both to be approved in advance by Plaintiffs; and a requirement that the City recover pieces of the Memorial provided to all third parties, including Jeremy Dean, and to incorporate them back into the memorial, as best as possible, during the re-installation.
- Provide an accounting of and access to “cultural items” removed from beneath the Memorial for Plaintiff’s inspection and re-install them beneath the Memorial during the re-installation.
- Enter an order prohibiting the City and any agents, contractors, or authorized parties from altering the Memorial or a new edifice or its visibility or access in any way, when it is replaced or erected in the Plaza, including removing any construction fencing and boarding obstructing its view.
- Issue declaratory judgment that the removal of the Memorial violated the constitutional rights of Plaintiffs and Order that the City refrain from attempting to remove the Memorial, or any edifice erected in the Plaza again in the future.
- Issue a declaratory judgment that the contextualization of the Memorial violated the Constitutional Rights of Plaintiffs and then prohibit the City from displaying contextualization footstones by the Memorial and be enjoined from replacing them.
- Plaintiffs ask for money damages for the deprivation and violation of their equal protection, free speech, and free exercise of religious rights from the time the Contextualization Plaques were placed at the Memorial until the Memorial is restored to its historic location.
- Order the State of Florida Department of State’s Historic Preservation Office to suspend disbursing any historic preservation grants from Federal Historic Preservation Funds until the Case is fully adjudicated.
- Enter judgment for Plaintiffs.
- Award costs of suit to Plaintiffs.
- Award attorney’s and expert’s fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988 & 28 U.S.C. §2201.
- Grant such other relief as the nature of the case and Court deem just and proper.
- Plaintiffs further ask the Court for all relief to which Plaintiffs may show they are entitled.