Judge Mackey approves consolidation petition form, checklist for November 2019 election

Presiding Yavapai County Superior Court Judge David Mackey

Presiding Yavapai County Superior Court Judge David Mackey

COTTONWOOD – Thanks to Yavapai County Superior Court Judge David Mackey’s stipulated judgment, consolidation of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts could go to vote next year.

Mackey ordered in his Oct. 5 judgment in the Mingus Union lawsuit that the “form of petition for consolidation and the stipulated checklist” for Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter “are approved by this court for the purpose of calling an election on Nov. 5, 2019.”

Mackey also ordered that res judicata prevents the parties – which includes the plaintiffs and defendants – from litigating, “and plaintiffs shall not seek to litigate, issues in the future that have been raised or could have been raised in this pre-election case including but not limited to the constitutionality of Arizona Revised Statute 15-459 (B) (7), any alleged conflict between A.R.S. 15-459 (B) (7) and A.R.S. 15-448, the form of petition, and the petition’s language agreed upon by the parties and the court.”

But the parties are “free to make public statements and litigate any issues not precluded by res judicata or this judgment.

Mackey “further ordered” that there is “no just reason for delay, [and that] there are no further matters that remain pending.”

Defendants in the suit are Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter, the Yavapai County Recorder, Yavapai County Election Director, and the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors.

According to Carter, the county entities were defendants because they were “parties to the process.”

Also listed as defendants, specifically as “real party in interest,” are the Committee for Better Upper Verde Valley Schools 2018.”

Also listed as plaintiffs were Yavapai County electors Michael Westcott, Cyndi Ricca and Kassidy Thagard.

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