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Parkland Mall Hearing Yields a Victory for Dyer as Suit Will Proceed

Judge refuses to dismiss developers lawsuit against Muskego, saying now is not the time to make those decisions. Pretrial hearing is set for mid-December

A lawsuit filed against the city of Muskego by developer Art Dyer, who alleges the city in effect "took" the Parkland Mall site from him and acted to prevent him from completing the project, will move forward.

Dyer initially filed the suit in 2009, and has alleged that the city conspired to keep him from developing the 11-acre parcel that rests in the city's downtown at the corner of Lannon Road and Janesville Road.

Judge Lee S. Dreyfus Jr. Thursday denied he city's request to dismiss the remaining claims in the case. The city appeared in Waukesha County Court with Dyer, owner of Parkland Venture, and Dreyfus told the parties that the suit should proceed.

"I'm denying the motion to dismiss the charges made here," Dreyfus said. "The position the court must take at this time is that the items listed in the complaint are true, even if there are disputes over other matters."

Muskego asked the judge to dismiss Dyer's claim that the city acted to prevent him from conducting business on whether proper notice was given in filing the claims. However, Dreyfus said at this stage of the proceedings, it was not the time for the court to decide whether Dyer or his attorney in effect followed the rules and what was "fact" in the case.

Dreyfus has only recently been assigned the case, but is aware of the multiyear history compiled already between Dyer and the city. He said he would allow for a final roundup of information by all parties before he would issue a summary judgment on Oct. 12. 

In a summary judgment, the judge can rule on the merits parts of the case or the entire case before it goes to trial.

An had five claims against the city dismissed, which included claims against the city and the Community Development Authority alleging conspiracy to injure in trade or business, civil conspiracy, intentional misrepresentation, interference as well as claims of libel, slander and defamation.

Dyer saw Thursday's ruling as a significant victory in his lawsuit against the city.

"We were said to have lost a little steam at the last hearing, but today we got our steam back," he said.

Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti adopted a hopeful tone that the summary judgment could offer more in the city's favor as well.

"At this time, the judge must assume truth with regard to the plaintiff’s remaining claims but the judge recognized that some or all of the claims could go away through the process," she stated. "These determinations will be made as we continue to move through the process of summary judgment and pretrial."

Dreyfus set a pretrial hearing for 3 p.m. Dec. 12.

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