LOGIN

Disney Claims DeSantis-Appointed Oversight Body is Slow in Furnishing Legal Documents

by Ryan Lee
10 comments
DeSantis Disney Lawsuit

Walt Disney World has asserted in legal filings that the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, governed by appointees of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has been sluggish in supplying necessary documents for an ongoing lawsuit. The litigation pertains to the control over design and construction activities within Disney’s extensive theme park resort in Central Florida.

In a recent legal move, Disney accused the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District of “shirking its responsibilities” and petitioned a Florida judge to postpone any rulings on the case’s advancement. This is until the entertainment company gains access to the essential documents and completes the required depositions to counter a summary judgment proposed by the district. A hearing has been slated for mid-December, with Disney requesting a delay of two and a half months for preparation.

According to court filings, Disney alleges that the district has “not produced a single document within nearly two months following the company’s requests, failed to meet mutually agreed-upon deadlines, and continues to retain information crucial for Disney’s development of its summary judgment rebuttal.”

Inquiries for comments were directed to a representative of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District via email.

The district, previously known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, was under the influence of Disney-affiliated individuals for over 50 years until its control shifted to appointees of Governor DeSantis earlier this year. This change in governance followed Disney’s public opposition to a Florida state law that bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in early-grade classrooms. Governor DeSantis, who is presently a candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, was a vocal advocate for this law.

Prior to this shift in control, the board, then comprised of Disney supporters, had executed agreements that transferred authority over design and construction at Disney World exclusively to the company. These agreements also barred the district from utilizing any Disney intellectual property without explicit permission from the company. The current board members, appointed by DeSantis, argue that these last-minute agreements effectively emasculate their authority and have initiated a lawsuit against Disney to invalidate these contracts.

In response, Disney has filed counterclaims asking the state court to confirm that the aforementioned agreements are both valid and enforceable. Additionally, Disney is seeking internal communications, such as emails and text messages, from the office of Governor DeSantis and various state agencies involved.

Disney lamented the current state of document production in its legal filings, stating that contributions have been “either entirely absent or grossly insufficient.”

Beyond the state-level litigation, Disney and Governor DeSantis, along with his associates, are also entangled in a federal lawsuit. Here, Disney has accused Governor DeSantis of infringing upon its First Amendment rights by penalizing the company for its public dissent against the law. Both DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District have filed motions requesting a federal judge to dismiss Disney’s First Amendment claim, terming it as lacking in merit.


For more information, follow Mike Schneider on the platform previously known as Twitter: @MikeSchneiderAP.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about DeSantis-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District lawsuit

What is the core issue of the lawsuit between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District?

The core issue is about control over design and construction activities at Disney’s extensive theme park resort in Central Florida. Disney is challenging the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s authority over these matters.

Who are the key parties involved in this legal battle?

The key parties are Walt Disney World and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which is governed by appointees of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

What has Disney accused the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District of doing?

Disney has accused the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District of “shirking its responsibilities” by failing to supply necessary documents and information crucial for the lawsuit. They have asked for a delay in the case until they receive these materials.

What is Disney specifically seeking from the court?

Disney is petitioning for a delay in the court’s decision on whether to advance the case until they receive the required documents and complete depositions. A hearing is scheduled for mid-December, and Disney is seeking a delay of two and a half months for preparation.

When did control of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District shift from Disney allies to DeSantis appointees?

Control shifted earlier this year, following Disney’s public opposition to a Florida state law that bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in early-grade classrooms.

What previous agreements are being contested?

Before the shift in control, agreements were made that gave Disney authority over design and construction at the theme park and prohibited the district from using Disney’s intellectual property without permission. These are now being contested by the DeSantis-appointed board members.

Are there any other legal battles between Disney and Governor Ron DeSantis?

Yes, in addition to the state-level lawsuit, Disney and Governor DeSantis, along with his associates, are also involved in a federal lawsuit. In this, Disney claims that Governor DeSantis violated its First Amendment rights by penalizing it for opposing a state law.

What is the current status of document production in the case?

According to Disney’s legal filings, contributions to document production have been “either entirely absent or grossly insufficient.”

Who is reporting on this legal conflict?

The story is being reported by Mike Schneider, who can be followed on the platform previously known as Twitter at @MikeSchneiderAP.

More about DeSantis-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight District lawsuit

You may also like

10 comments

JohnDoe47 October 28, 2023 - 7:28 am

Wow, this is really heating up. Disney and the Florida govt at loggerheads. Who woulda thought?

Reply
LibertyJane October 28, 2023 - 9:26 am

So it all started when Disney opposed that classroom law? Talk about a political landmine.

Reply
JustCurious October 28, 2023 - 9:42 am

anyone know what’s gonna happen if Disney wins or loses? Just curious.

Reply
Investor_Joe October 28, 2023 - 2:50 pm

If Disney loses control over construction and design, that could mean big changes. Got to keep an eye on their stocks.

Reply
LegalEagle October 28, 2023 - 8:02 pm

If I understand correctly, the case isn’t even proceeding ’cause they can’t get documents? What a mess.

Reply
PoliticsAsUsual October 28, 2023 - 11:46 pm

DeSantis has his hands full. Running for President and now this? Busy times.

Reply
TechieMama October 29, 2023 - 12:12 am

So Disney’s fighting for its rights huh. Will be interesting to see how this pans out. Legal battles are never simple.

Reply
FutureScholar October 29, 2023 - 1:04 am

All this legal wrangling might just end up in textbooks someday. What a case study for political science.

Reply
Floridian2023 October 29, 2023 - 2:31 am

Living in Florida, you just get used to this kinda drama. Seems like its always something new.

Reply
ThemeParkFan October 29, 2023 - 2:56 am

Man, all this legal stuff better not affect my next Disney vacation. Kids are really lookin forward to it.

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News