No decision reached in cruise lawsuit hearing

By Stefanie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) No word yet on the fate of the Charleston cruise industry, even after a judge heard a lawsuit on the matter{}after two days and more than five hours in court.{}

On Friday, Judge Clifton Newman heard the last of arguments from both sides of the cruise lawsuit.

"I think all the parties would agree that it was a fair hearing and all parties got a chance to present their sides{}on the{}motion to dismiss," said Blan Holman of the Southern Environmental Law Center.

The Preservation Society, Coastal Conservation League and two downtown neighborhood groups are suing Carnival Cruise lines for not following city ordinances like height limits and public nuisance.

"I think there is fundamentally on the one side, the plaintiffs on the case contend that the Carnival operation is not in compliance with the law, you've got Carnival and the City and the Ports Authority who say it is," said Holman.

The City of Charleston and South Carolina State Ports Authority are supporting Carnival Cruise lines as defendants in this case and would not comment on the lawsuit until a ruling is reached.

Judge Newman did not reach a decision on Friday leaving both sides waiting for an answer in the fight for the future of the cruise industry and for Historic Charleston.

Judge Newman said in court in closing that he wants to take a significant amount of time in reviewing both sides of the argument on this case. He also said he does not have a timetable yet to when he will make his final recommendation to the State Supreme Court.

The State Supreme Court is then expected to make a ruling on the case at a later date.

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