Disney Files New Motion Asking Judge to Force Central Florida Tourism Oversight District To Hand Over Necessary Documents

Shannen Ace

Front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

Disney Files New Motion Asking Judge to Force Central Florida Tourism Oversight District To Hand Over Necessary Documents

After filing another lawsuit against the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District over their failure to turn over needed documents, Disney has filed a new Motion to Compel Discovery, asking the judge in the original state lawsuit to order the District to turn over the documents (“discovery”) within seven days.

Magic Kingdom cinderella castle featured stock 8318 HDR

Disney claims that the District (CFTOD) has failed to comply with Florida’s public records law. Their new lawsuit against CFTOD is for unjustified delay and failure to produce records, failure to retain records, and failure to retrieve records. Disney alleges that these failures to comply with Florida’s public records law have led to a delay in the retrieval of a document they asked for seven months ago, in May of 2023.

Disney previously requested and received a 75-day continuance because, they stated, the District “has been dodging its obligations to produce concededly relevant discovery while rushing consideration of its motion for summary judgment.” Disney says they provided the District with discovery on August 29, 2023.

Central Florida Tourism Oversight District logo

The new Motion repeats these claims and states that “intervention is now necessary” to retrieve the documents so Disney “can fairly defend itself against the District’s claims and advance its counterclaims.”

Since the Court’s November 17, 2023 Order granting the continuance, the District has continued to delay providing WDPR discovery. Despite agreeing to produce requested documents and acknowledging their relevance, the District has missed multiple production deadlines—including, most recently, the date it committed it would substantially complete its production—and produced only 888 documents since the Court continued the summary judgment hearing date. The District has also refused to respond to three of WDPR’s five interrogatories, which go to the heart of WDPR’s defenses and counterclaims.

WDPR cannot let more time pass waiting for the District to fulfill its empty promises to produce the critical discovery WDPR needs both to defend against the District’s claims and advance its own counterclaims. Moreover, even with the new March 12, 2024 summary judgment hearing date, WDPR’s deadline to file its opposition is only two months away. Absent the Court’s intervention, there is little hope that the District will produce outstanding discovery, not to mention with adequate time for WDPR to review it in advance of depositions or its deadline to submit its summary judgment opposition.

The unanswered interrogatories include requests for information about how the CFTOD Board members and District Administrator were chosen and whether they “were selected based on their willingness to continue the State’s campaign of retaliation against [Disney] for expressing a viewpoint that Governor DeSantis and his legislative allies disagree with.”

Ron DeSantis giving a speech
Credit: Associated Press

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company initially clashed over the corporation’s opposition to a much-debated and controversial Florida law regarding classroom instruction and discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

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Author

  • Shannen Ace

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.

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