Box 19, Folder 16, Document 67

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Box 19, Folder 16, Document 67

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CASE NO, B-17638





The above stated case is no different from any

‘ other case where a party seeks a judicial declaration of its

rights. The questions posed are strictly legal ones. The

, determination of the rights of the particular parties now

before the Court must, as they must in every case, be made
free from public clamor and ithéut consideration for local
sentiment, With conncicus regard of these self-evident
principles, the Court sets forth the following in @onnection
with the legal questions of which a determination ie sought,

The above nattex originally came on before this

Court for a hearing on Decewber 17, 1965 at which time the

Court, after a public hearing, reached the conelusion that
Plaintif¢ had shown a then compelling need in connection with
certain temporary relief prayed for, Having reached this

gonclusion, the Court, therefore, granted said relief by

desuing a temporary restraining order which was binding on

all Defendants duly sezved and all other persons acting in
concert with said Defencants aad with knowledge of said 7

At the same time, the Court ordered the said
Defendants duly served to show cauve before the Non-Jury
Division of this court cn February 15, 1966 why the
restraining orders thus insued should not be continued and
made permanent and why 411 other relief sought in the petition
should not be granted,

Thereafter, the Plaintize filed a Motion for Summary

' Judgment, with supportirg evidence, and thia Court, at the

request of the Plaintifi, set said matter down for a hearing
on the Motion fox Sunumaxry Judgment, which hearing was held on
the 4th day of February, 1966 beginning at 9:45 A, M.

There appeared at oadd’ hearing attorneys for the
Plaintiff, for the ATLANTA BRAVES, INC, (hereafter called the
CLUBS (hereafter called the “NATIONAL LEAGUE"), as well as

individuals connected with the above referred to parties,

” Evidence was presented, both by affidavit and by oral

testimony, and argument was made by counsel for the respective

At gaid hearing Plaintiff asked for, as it is

entitled te receive, a xuling of the Court on the question of

Of the Plaintiff's Moticn for Bummary Judgment, including a
judgment deciaring the rights of the Plaintif2 in a certain
‘Lease Agreement pursuant. to Georgin Code Annotated, Section
110-1101, and incideatal injunctive relief pursuant to Georgia -
Code Annotatad, Section 110-1102 ineluding an injunction
pexmanently enjoining tre parties served from breaching said —=-
Agreement in the eveat that said Agreement is declared valid,
legal and of full force and ef:fect by this court,”

in essence, tre evidence showed that (1) on
October 20, 1964 the BRAVES entered into a contract with the
Plaintiff, leasing the Atlanta Stadium for tha sultons of
' playing therein Major League Pyvofensional Baseball; (2) that
thereafter; to wit: in dugust, 1965 suit Number 332-626 was
‘instituted in the Circuit Court of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
seeking, among other things, an injunction enjoining the ,
BRAVES from performing pursuant to said Lease Agreement, and;
(3) that, subsequently, a “Memorandum Decision and "Order"
was filed ih the Circuit Court of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
on January 26, 1966 enjcining the RAVES and the NATIONAL
LEAGUE in certain particulars,

This Court is reluctant, as any court should be, to
pass an order which might conflict with an order of a court
ef another sovereign estate. This judicial reluctance cannot,
however, justify this Ccurt’s shirk:ing, however distasteful,

a duty imposed, The parties to this suit have prayed for,

and are entitled to, an explicit and prompt ruling on the
questions now before tha Court. 7

3 This Court must, of necensity, recognize the fact
that as a result of the entry of said dakdeandiie Decision and
Order of January 26, 19¢6,, the Plaintiff's rights under its —
Lease Agreement are, in fact, directly and imaediately
threatened thereby entitling the Plaintiff at this time to a

final and binding order, Having invoked the legal, as well as

the equitable powers of this Court, the Plaintiff has a right a

to expect whatever protection this Court can properly and
legally afford, |


‘a hi

Said Lease Agx eenent between the BRAVES and the
Plaintiff, cated Octobex 20, 1964, as amended, is a valid,
binding, legal contract and sane in hereby expressly declared
to be of full force and effect. |

The finding akove set forth includes an express
finding that said Lease Agreemant was executed in, and is to
be performed, within the territorial confines of the state
of Georgia and is, in fast, @ Georgia contract, It follows,

therefore, that any conatruction of its terms must be

ao & ws
determined under the prcevisions of Georgia law, This Court
rules aepeaualy that Pazayraph 25.8 (a) of waid Lease
Agreenent doas not relate to orders or decrees of a court of c ,
law ox equity. This in calied "escape clause“ is subject to 3
no other construction whea the Agreement, taken as a whole,
is considered, The Court finds further that the above
xefexxred to paragraph pertains and relates only to the
possible creation of a Paderal regulatory body or Like public
authority established by the Congress of the United states
specifically to govern tie affairs of professi.onal baseball
and to edict orders, directions and regulations of such a
_ public authority if such an authority should, during the
twenty-five year period sovered by said Lease Agreement, be
duly and legally established, The only legal construction
possible, uncer the laws of this State, is that said clause
does not refer to orders or decrees such as are illustrated
by the Memorandum Decision and Order of the Circuit Court of
Milwaukee County seeking to prevent or restrain the BRAVES
fxom playing their home baseball gazes in Atlanta Stadium,
Atlanta, Georgia during “he 1966 baseball season or thereafter,
This subject wis expressly dealt with in Section 2,1
of the Lease Agreenent ‘ ating te the 1965 playing season,
The Defendants availed themselves of ita provisions as long aa
the BRAVES had any contriictual committments to Milwaukee

County, Any other consti uction of Paragraph 25,8 (ec) would

violate that cardinal rule o2 construction of the law of

Georgia which provides that contracts are to he construed so
aa not to reject any part thereos, Even if this were not
true, the uncontradicted evidence before this Court shows
conclusively that this vas, in Zact, the intention of the

parties °


Consequentiy, this Court ds constrained to find
that said Lease Agreoment ie a valid, binding contract,
notwithstanding said Ordex datod January 26, 1966, The

BRAVES, as a party to eaid Lease Agreement, has no legal
xight to avoid any of the termn or obligations of a valid,
pre-exlating contzact by saagon of the issuance of paid
Memorandum Decision und wider, It stands without question
that no court can recuir? a party not $o enter into a valid
contract when such cantr ict has wlready been executed, become —
effective and pursuant t? which contract there has been atte
stantial performance by the parties, |

Wik 4.

This Court taki express note of the fact that the |
foregoing Memorandum Dec lesion and Orders of January 26, 1966
does rot, as of this dat», attempt to prohibit the BRAVES
from scheduling and play ing ite 1966 regular home games in
Atlanta, Georgia, Sid order goes no further than to require
that the BRAVES shall be prohibited from (a) sentresting in

futuro with respect to tie 1966 bassball seasen in Atlanta,
Georgia, unless it inelivdes in such contract a right to avoid
the same if the Milwaukee Court enjoins the BRAVES: from ,
exhibiting its home gamc¢s away from Milwaukee in the future,
and; (b) veguires the BrAVES, the NATIONAL LEAGUE and its

. nembers to make tentative and donditional arrangements for
exhibition of the BRAVE: home games in Milwaukee, if required
_ to do so by said Milwaukee court in the future, and;(c) order=
ing that the BRAVES, the NATIONAL LEAGUE and its members ave
plans for expansion of franchises so as to permit an expansion

team of competitive quality to play in Milwaukee in 1966,


Setwithatanding the facts referred to in pavapeieph
4 above, this Court, in view of the relief requested
and still vigorously so\lght by the State of Wisconsin in
that case, that the BRAVES he prohibited from playing their
1966 home games in Atlaita, Georgia, further finds that
pursuant to the terms oj; said Lease Agreement, Plaintiff has
a lawful contractual richt. to have said Defendant BRAVES
schedule and play its home games with other teams of the
NATIONAL LEAGUB in Atlanta Stadium during the entire present
term of said Lease and jis a further right to have the
NATIONAL LEAGUE, ané itu individual corporate members,
schedule and play all gimes designated in the presently

publiphed NATIONAL LEAG' IE schedule as home games of the BRAVES

with the Atianta BRAVES in Atlanta, Georgia daring 1966 and

during the remaining term of suid Lease,

Incidental to the Deolaratory Judgment herein
entered and in order to preserve Plaintiff's rights, it is
further ORDERED that the Dofendant BRAVES, its Officers,
Directors, Agents, Servants, Employees, Players, and all
ether persons acting in concert with thea, are hereby
permanently enjoined frca taking any action which would
impadix the pexftormance ty said BRAVES of the terms of said
- Lease Agreemgnt and they are hereby permanently and
specifically enjoined fzen taking any action or making any
arrangements for the sot eduling on exhibition of BRAVES home
“Major League Professions1 Besehall games at any place other
than Atlanta Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia fox the 1966 baseball
eeason and during the te xn of said Lease,
The above injunction, enjoining the Defendant
BRAVES fxyom breaching ary of the terms of said Lease Agreement
is predicated, in part, on the uncontradicted evidence that
the Plaintiffs has no adaquate xvemedy at law da that connection
in view of the irrepiaratile nature of the damages which would
ensue if said BRAVES, ir thedy present financial condition,
were to breach the term: of said contract herein declared

valid and lawful,

Consequently, the Defendant NATIONAL LEAGUB, its
(mau an@ all persons acting in concert therewith, are
hereby permanently enjoined from taking any aation which
would, in any wise, impzir the full and faithful performance ©
of theterms of the sald Lense Agreement and from taking any
action or miiing any arrangements which would in any way,
alter, amend or otherwise change, nk to lecation in Atlanta,
Georgia, the home sched: le of Defendant BRAVES as presently
published (and attached to Plaintiff's petition) for the 1966 |
baseball geenans thereby inpadxing the terms of said Lease
. Agreement between Plaintite and BRAVES, |


Plaintiff's ayplication gor any and all additional
injunctive xelie£ as may be peqeanas or gwought by Plaintiff,
dm addition to the perm: nent celle? granted herein, will be
considered ky this Couri., upon motion of Plaintifs with
notice to Defendants se: ved, after giving all parties a
xeasorable opportunity to be heard.

Zs 278 6O ORDEED this Sth day of February, 1966,

aa Phillips MeKengie, Judge
/ superior Court, #, J. Cc.

» De


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