Monday, November 18, 2019

LUXCOM litigation update: PALMETTO BAY, filed a Motion for Telephonic Appearance of Expert Witness Mohammed Khan who has relocated out of the Country.

Just a short update relating to the DOAH litigation: Defendant, PALMETTO BAY, filed a Motion for Telephonic Appearance of Expert Witness Mohammed Khan who has relocated to India.  (CLICK HERE) to view this motion posted online on the DOAH docket for this case.

Mohammed Khan is a traffic engineer that prepared the traffic concurrency analysis for the comprehensive plan amendment. His was reviewed by the Village Council in conjunction with the consideration and adoption of the comprehensive plan amendment that is the subject of this proceeding. 

IMPACT: Attorneys for Palmetto Bay have requested that Mr. Khan be permitted to appear telephonically at the final hearing in this matter, as well as any deposition requested by the Petitioner. Telephone appearances are often granted for good cause. This witness is certainly unavailable locally. This certainly appears to be good cause, even absent any assertion that Mohammed Khan has no plans to be in the State or even the United States at any time relevant to the ongoing proceedings. 

The motion fails to document any communication between the completing attorneys to try to work out or narrow the issues. 

WHAT TO EXPECT: I would expect this motion to be GRANTED and that LUXCOM’s only alternative would be to pay for travel and lodging related toMr. Khan attending proceedings locally (this witness would not be personally compelled to do so) OR LUXCOM could counter move with the Court or reach an agreement with Palmetto Bay to schedule any depositions or hearing testimony to take place via teleconferencing, Mr. Khan appearing live at an agreed to location in India (the most likely alternative).

CONTINUING SPECIAL NOTE: Palmetto Bay officials continue to neglect to update the “litigation page” online to include any information relating to this action (or other recent actions) on the official village website (at least as of  8:00 AM, Monday, 11/18/2019). Posting would be for courtesy, as it is not required, but would aid in transparency. As pointed out previously, many of the documents from the prior administrations have been removed from public access online, casting shade on transparency as well as accessibility of these public records.

After all, if DOAH can post these (and many other) documents online, why can’t Palmetto Bay? Don't buy the "ADA" argument. DOAH/the Courts are under the same ADA requirements as any other government entity. There is no lack of ability for Palmetto Bay elected leaders, only a lack of will to make the records accessible.

Eugene Flinn

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