Monument Avenue residents withdraw lawsuit over Lee statue’s removal

Richmond

Lawyer representing the residents told 8News that he filed "a new, but similar" suit in Richmond Circuit Court

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Six Monument Avenue property owners who filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, citing concerns that taking it down could end “favorable tax treatment” and reduce property values, voluntarily withdrew their suit Wednesday.

The plaintiffs in the suit, longtime Monument Avenue resident Helen Marie Taylor and five other property owners who wished to remain anonymous, claimed the governor’s order violates the state’s constitution and a legislative resolution adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1889.

“Attempts by Defendants to remove the Lee statue would damage, destroy or significantly alter the statue in violation of the terms of the deed conveying the statue, the 1889 legislative provision, and the laws of the Commonwealth,” the lawsuit stated.

READ: Full Notice of Voluntary Dismissal by Monument Avenue residents

While the lawsuit was originally filed in Richmond Circuit Court, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed a notice transferring it to federal court on Monday. The decision to withdraw the lawsuit means this specific case will not move forward, Herring’s office confirmed.

Despite the development, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Patrick McSweeney, told 8News that he filed “a new, but similar, action to block the removal” in Richmond Circuit Court on Wednesday. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, 8News learned.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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