Victoryland reacts to lift on protective restraining order

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

SHORTER, AL (WSFA) - A Macon County Circuit Court judge dropped his temporary restraining order Tuesday that protected Victoryland from being raided by Governor Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling. Judge Tom Young rescinded the protective order after all legal avenues to the Alabama Supreme Court on the issue were exhausted.

The injunction was dissolved immediately, meaning Victoryland could be raided at any time, providing the Task Force obtains a search warrant from a judge first.

Victoryland is currently open, but offers only dog racing. The area of the complex where electronic gaming machines were located is boarded up with plywood.

The months-long protective order fell after the Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Friday, Sept. 3 rejecting a request by Macon County officials to reconsider its July 30 decision that allowed the governor's task force to operate in Macon County.

That was the last move Macon County officials could make in an effort to save the restraining order. The rejection left Judge Young no other option but to remove the restraining order.

Victoryland issued this response after learning of Judge Young's actions:

Nothing has changed as a result of the Macon County Circuit Judge's order today.

VictoryLand does not operate electronic bingo and has not since August 8, 2010.  The Judge's order dissolving the injunction does not give the Task Force the right to raid VictoryLand.

If the Task Force wishes to enter VictoryLand's premises it must obtain a valid search warrant from a neutral and detached magistrate with jurisdiction.  Any application for a search warrant must be supported with probable cause, which the Task Force cannot establish.

We received a copy of Justice Murdock's statement this afternoon.  In our opinion, Justice Murdock's statement, and the Supreme Court's statement in its Order dated September 3, 2010 raises more questions than they answer.

In light of those statements, we renew our request for the appropriate authorities to investigate the issuance of opinions related to electronic bingo, the manner in which those opinions have been procured, and allegations concerning the lack of impartiality of certain members of the Court.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.