Law Student Finally Files Parking Lawsuit

After waiting for about three months, Steve Rinehart files his lawsuit against parking services today.

“This is it,” Rinehart said. “We’ll see what happens. A law student versus the U’s legal counsel and the attorney general isn’t good odds. It’s kind of like David versus Goliath must have been, but worse.”

A second-year law student, Rinehart accuses the U of breaching an implied contract with its student body, unjustly enriching itself, establishing parking regulations that cannot be observed and unlawful seizure of property?namely booting and towing.

Utah law prohibits plaintiffs from suing a government agency without 90-day advance notice. Rinehart gave the U notice in early September. Local attorney Brian Barnard has advised Rinehart during the 90 days.

The lawsuit includes an accusation that the U violated the Governmental Records Access Management Act (GRAMA), by which citizens can obtain information on governmental records. During the 90-day period, Rinehart made six requests for records, but the U denied one and ignored the other five, the lawsuit reads.

“The U handled the GRAMA requests appropriately,” said Karen McCreary, from the Office of General Counsel.

McCreary would not speculate on how the lawsuit might play out if it went to trial. The Office of General Counsel doesn’t litigate anyway, but would work with the attorney general’s office.

Because Rinehart gets asked so much about the lawsuit, he plans to set up a Web site to keep people updated. Not yet up, the Web site will link through www.geocities.com/slr383838/SteveRinehart.html.

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