CHICAGO -- A county judge Friday afternoon said Detroit’s bankruptcy filing is unconstitutional and ordered it withdrawn.
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina issued an order that said the city’s historic filing violated the Michigan constitution because it will impair employee benefits.
Aquilina issued the order as part of a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the city’s two retirement systems that sought to block emergency manager Kevyn Orr and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder from filing for Chapter 9 protection.
An emergency hearing on the lawsuit was held Thursday, and Aquilina said she would have stopped the city from filing at the hearing, but that city attorneys rushed to file their petition in federal court ahead of the hearing, according to local reports.
“I have some very serious concerns because there was this rush to bankruptcy court that didn’t have to occur and shouldn’t have occurred,” Aquilina was quoted as saying in the Detroit Free Press.
The dispute will likely end up in the state Court of Appeals.
The rushed filing can be seen on the petition itself, where the July 19 filing date was crossed out and July 18 was inked in.
Also Friday, a bankruptcy court clerk filed a formal request that a judge be assigned to the historic case. The request asks Alice Batchelder, chief judge of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, to designate a judge.
The city filed its petition in the U.S. Eastern District Court of Michigan.