The Wauwatosa School District's request for a temporary injunction against the WIAA's conference realignment plan was denied in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Tuesday, leaving the district's lawsuit against the state's interscholastic athletic association in jeopardy.
Milwaukee County Circut Judge Dennis P. Moroney rejected the injunction request based on his feeling the lawsuit would not have a high likelihood of success.
"The judge indicated that he had read all of the materials that were submitted and proceeded to listen to both the Wauwatosa's and the WIAA's arguments and explanations very, very patiently," WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson told WauwatosaNow. "He determined that based on existing law, as well as the agreement between the WIAA member schools and the association, that there was not a high likelihood of success moving forward, which is one of the key elements of granting a temporary injunction.
"I was definitely very pleased as a starting point that the judge was so well prepared and well briefed to hear the case before him."
Based on the previous law in the Slinger case that was referenced by both sides (from 1997) and the judge, he denied Wauwatosa's request.
The Wauwatosa School District filed the lawsuit July 13 with the intent to have the WIAA scrap its conference realignment proposal, which was approved on a 7-4 vote by the WIAA Board of Control in April and is set to take effect for the 2017-18 school year.
Under the approved conference realignment plan, Wauwatosa West would move from the Woodland to join Wauwatosa East in the Greater Metro.
One of the plans considered, which was proposed by the North Shore Conference and endorsed by the Wauwatosa School District, would have placed Wauwatosa West and Wauwatosa East together in the Woodland.
The Wauwatosa School District argues there were flaws in how the WIAA went away from that plan to the approved plan first brought forward by WIAA Associate Director Deb Hauser.
In the Slinger case, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that "the WIAA membership has collectively agreed that an individual member's conference alignment, while important, is not so important that it will be a 'contractual right' that members are going to fight about in court."
Moroney will hear the WIAA's motion to dismiss the case completely Sept. 27.
"We have no expectation outside of our need to appear and argue on behalf of the other 414 members of the WIAA," Anderson said of the September hearing.