Appellate court: Confederate monuments can be removed from Memphis parks

Memphis statue_470870

A Tennessee appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling in favor of the City of Memphis regarding the removal of Confederate statues in two parks that were conveyed to a non-profit company.

The ruling comes after the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a lawsuit against the city attempting to stop the removal of the monuments until the Tennessee Historical Commission could make a final judgment, citing the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act of 2016 (THPA).

However, according to Presiding Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr., because of the properties no longer belong to the state, they are no longer subject to THPA. 

The full ruling in Sons Of Confederate Veterans, Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp #215 v. City of Memphis, ET Al. is as follows: 

“This is an action for injunctive relief filed by a historical-preservation society against the City of Memphis and a nonprofit corporation. Prior to filing its complaint, the society filed a petition for declaratory relief with the Tennessee Historical Commission that sought a declaration on the applicability of the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act of 2016 (“THPA”) to two parks and related monuments conveyed by the City to the nonprofit. In the present action, the historical-preservation society requested a temporary injunction under the THPA to preserve the parks and monuments pending the Commission’s final order. The trial court found the society could not prevail on the merits of its claim because the parks and monuments were no longer public property and, thus, were no longer subject to the THPA. Having determined that the historical-preservation society failed to assert a viable cause of action under the THPA, we affirm.”

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