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Euphoria loses appeal in lawsuit against Travis County

Thursday, February 16, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

More than a year after a district judge shot down an outdoor music festival’s lawsuit against Travis County, an appeals court has upheld that decision. After a fashion. The organizers of Euphoria Music and Camping Festival sued the county in 2015 over the new mass gathering permit guidelines the Commissioners Court had just approved. On Dec. 2, 2015, Judge Tim Sulak tossed out the suit, ruling that his court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. In a 17-page decision issued on Wednesday, Justice Scott Field of the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals determined that the lawsuit was invalid in part because it alleged that members of the Commissioners Court acted ultra vires, or without legal authority, by attempting to enforce the new guidelines. “Suits alleging ultra vires acts cannot be brought against the state or its political subdivisions, which retain immunity, but must be brought against the state actors in their official capacity,” Field wrote. Both County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and representatives of Euphoria declined to comment on the decision.

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