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Date of Issue: June 28, 2007

Judge boots Nally v. Anna Maria suit

A lawsuit filed by William and Barbara Nally of Spring Avenue against the Anna Maria City Commission for its approval of the Sandbar Restaurant site plan has been quashed by Manatee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Logan.

Logan ruled on June 13 that the Nallys petition for a writ of certiorari "is hereby denied."

Logan reviewed eight separate components of the petition, filed by attorney Dan Lobeck on behalf of the Nallys, including denial of the Nallys due process rights. Logan found that the Nallys "were given notice and an opportunity to be heard and, thus, their due process rights were not violated."

Logan also found "substantial competent evidence" to support the commission's decision to approve the site plan, including the Sandbar's cooler, traffic pattern, stormwater drainage and parking lots not owned by the restaurant, but used in the site plan.

The court's function, however, is very limited regarding certiorari review, said Logan, and does not extend to directing that any particular action be taken.

"The court is not allowed to re-weigh the evidence to substitute its judgment for that of the municipality," he said.

While Logan's decision may spell the end of this particular legal action, the Nallys still have a lawsuit filed against the Sandbar Restaurant that has not yet been heard in court.

Sandbar owner Ed Chiles said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on a legal action between the Nallys and the city.