Judge Rules City of Portsmouth Cannot Move Confederate Memorial
Congratulations to Fred Taylor and the Stonewall Camp #380 ! #winning
"Monumental Victory in Portsmouth"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Judge William S. Moore, Jr., Chief Judge of the Portsmouth Circuit Court, has dismissed the claims brought by the City of Portsmouth against the Stonewall Camp #380, Sons of Confederate Veterans.
In October of 2016, the City of Portsmouth had sought a declaratory judgment to establish its ownership of Portsmouth's Confederate monument and authority to relocate the monument. The Stonewall Camp filed a demurrer to the City's Complaint, and challenged these claims in a hearing held on March 5.
Noting that the City's claim sought a "de facto advisory opinion" from the Court, Judge Moore in a May 1 Opinion and Order rejected the City's assertion that it had brought a proper claim before the Court. Furthermore the Judge noted in his opinion that the City's allegations failed to establish sufficient facts to seek a declaratory judgment.
Stonewall Camp attorney, Fred D. Taylor, Esq., was pleased with the ruling and stated that the Court's decision was a "clear vindication of the law and monument protection."
The Portsmouth Confederate Monument, located at the former town square on Court Street, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The plans for the erection of the Portsmouth Confederate Monument began in 1875 with the formation of the Portsmouth and Norfolk County Monument Association, whose mission it was to honor Portsmouth and Norfolk County's Confederate war dead. Subsequently, this Association petitioned and received the approval of the City of Portsmouth for the placement of the Monument. Following that approval by the City, the placement of the Monument progressed ultimately to the formal dedication of the Monument in 1893, all a result of the combined efforts of local citizens, the Monument Association, the Ladies' Memorial Aid Association of Portsmouth, and the Stonewall Camp Number 380, United Confederate Veterans.