The New York-based judge rejected the NRA’s attempts to move the case to a location more convenient for their position.
A New York judge will not allow the National Rifle Association (NRA) motion to dismiss a state action for final resolution.
According to The Associated Press, Judge Joel Cohen’s decision will allow New York Attorney General Letitia James to pursue her case against the NRA. James’ complaint is now expected to continue in a Manhattan court.
Conversely, the National Rifle Association had hoped that the lawsuit could be dismissed for technical reasons; The organization had also tried to convert the jurisdiction into a federal court.
As LegalReader previously reported, Attorney General James’ lawsuit seeks the dissolution of the NRA because its leadership violated New York State law that governs the use of charitable funds. Upper-tier NRA administrators reportedly spent millions of dollars – all sourced from donors – on luxury getaways, designer clothes, and gourmet meals.
Overall, James – along with several independent sources – has estimated that prominent NRA leaders misused about $ 64 million.
Cohen, according to The Associated Press, said the NRA’s request for a move made little sense.
New York attorney general and former city councilor Letitia James. Image via Wikimedia Commons / User: Matthew Cohen. (CCA-BY-2.0).
“It would be inappropriate to state that the attorney was unable to pursue her claims in a state court just because one of the defendants wanted to go to federal court,” Cohen said in a virtual hearing.
Cohen also noted the NRA’s claim that the lawsuit should be dismissed because it was filed in New York City rather than Albany, the city where the National Rifle Association lists a charter address.
In his decision, Cohen noted that such an argument in favor of dismissal did nothing against the merits of James’ case.
“Today’s order reaffirms what we’ve known all along,” said James, “the NRA cannot dictate whether or where they will respond for their actions.”
National Public Radio notes that the NPR continued to try to halt the lawsuit by filing for bankruptcy in Texas.
Last week, the NRA leadership announced that if they cannot avoid James’ complaint, they will dissolve their New York stake and settle back in Texas – a plan the organization ensured to communicate clearly to the Texas justice system.
The bankruptcy declaration can in many cases relieve a person or organization from ongoing legal disputes. But James has since asked the courts to grant an exemption as it enforces their “police and regulatory powers”.
Despite the setback, the NRA has held on, claiming that the Attorney General is making “an unfounded deliberate attack on our organization and the freedoms of the Second Amendment which it is fighting to defend”.
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