Judge dissolves Temporary Restraining order; Dismisses Plaintiff’s Petition

Upon careful consideration of the law, evidence, exhibits, pleadings and oral & written  arguments, Judge Lala Sylvester dissolved the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that was issued on June 3, 2021 and Dismissed Randall Hennigan’s “Plaintiff’s Petition of Injunctive Relief and Temporary Restraining Order Preliminary Injunction.

In an hour-long hearing Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse on the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by Hennigan enjoining the school board from voting on consolidation, the court ruled in open court finding that Hennigan brought his suit prematurely as the Natchitoches Parish School Board has taken no action committing itself to consolidation. “Since the school board has not voted on the consolidation, there is no consolidation, and if there is no declared act of consolidation by the School Board, there is no basis for plaintiff’s petition, only conjecture,” said presiding judge, Lala B. Sylvester.

The Judge also explained that Hennigan presented no legal support that an injunction could be used to prevent a lawful vote of a school board saying that Hennigan cannot petition to enjoin the consolidation vote, but he could petition “should the school board vote for consolidation and follow through with it.” Although Hennigan’s petition was dismissed and temporary restraining order halting the vote was terminated, the court left the window open for him to return to court should the school board vote for consolidation if he still believes the same harm will come from it. The court’s ruling gave no insight into how it would rule of the merits of the injunction should it return.

In a final action, the court did order that all costs and Defendant’s reasonable attorney’s fees be charged to the Plaintiff Hennigan and those costs shall be paid by the security deposited on hand with the Clerk of Court. The Judge set the Attorney’s fees at the nominal sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00). The Judge also ordered that the Plaintiff is charged with the costs for publication of the Natchitoches Parish School Board meeting scheduled to replace the cost of the June 3, 2021 meeting.

Representing the parties in court were:

Robert L. Hammonds, Attorney
Joe Stamey, Attorney
Grant Eloi, Superintendent
Lee Waskom, Director of Finance, NPSB
Steve Harris, President, NPSB
Eugene Garner, Member, NPSB
Reba Phelps, Member, NPSB
Rhonda Guidroz, Member, NPSB

Conner C. Headrick, Attorney
R. Morgan Briggs, Attorney
Randall Hennigan, Plaintiff

There were a few members of the Marthaville community on hand.

Attached below is a copy of the “File Marked” order signed in Chambers, in the City and Parish of Natchitoches, State of Louisiana on June 16, 2021.