M. Dane Waters - (202) 429-5539
"Pursuant with agreement, the parties have agreed as
follows: (1) there will be no hearing on the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order; (2) there will be no hearing
on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction; (3) the parties have agreed to proceed
directly to trial on the merits; and (4) the USPS has agreed NOT to enforce its
regulation prior to July 31 (the directive to Postmasters will be issued first thing
Monday, June 5; thus, to be safe, signature gathering on postal property should not
begin before Tuesday, June 6); the parties have agreed to the following briefing
a. the government will move for summary judgment on or
before June 13;
b. the plaintiffs will cross move for summary judgment and
oppose the government's motion on or before June 23;
c. the government will oppose plaintiffs' motion and reply
in support of its motion on or before June 30th, and;
d. plaintiffs will reply on or before July 7.
Trial is to be prior to July 13. The date of the trail and
presiding judge have not yet been identified.
The Court will speak to us again on Monday to fix the trial
date and identify the judge.
The foregoing accomplishes precisely the objectives that we
had hoped to achieve when we filed this action. That is, we have obtained interim relief against enforcement
of the regulation, avoided the necessity for interim TRO and PI proceedings, and fixed
an early date for trial on the merits and prompt resolution."
This is very good news but I must stress several points.
a. Do not start petitioning prior to Tuesday, June 6, 2000.
b. We were only seeking relief for the collection of
signatures on initiative and/or referendum petitions -- this does not mean that you can collect signatures on
c. The post office still has the authority to ask
petitioners to leave the premises for disruptive behavior so if you are being disruptive in any way they can
legally ask you to leave.
d. I would strongly urge you and your petitioners to be as
nice as possible when petitioning on postal property. I would hate to go into court for trial and the USPS
present numerous examples of how petitioners were unruly, etc. Let's not give them
any help in trying to make their case. On the contrary if we can show them how
orderly petitioners are when petitioning the stronger our case will be.
This is good news but we still have a long way to go. The
case is far from over and we still have to make our case in court.
Let's use this opportunity to get the issues you are working
on onto the ballot (which is why we sought the TRO and PI). But be careful and use common sense. It may
take a few days for word to trickle to the Postmasters. Please do not be
Many thanks and good luck.
M. Dane Waters