City wants case heard in San Diego

Updated: December 5, 2003, 10:03 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The city of San Diego filed a motion Friday asking a judge to transfer a lawsuit filed by the NFL's Chargers from Los Angeles to San Diego.

The motion was scheduled to be heard on Jan. 16 before Judge Irving S. Feffer.

The Chargers filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court two days before Thanksgiving, asking a judge to determine whether the team has triggered a clause that enables it to renegotiate its stadium lease, possibly allowing it to pursue a new stadium or perhaps move to another city.

San Diego officials asked the Chargers earlier this week to have the case moved to San Diego, but the team's Los Angeles-based lawyer denied the request in a letter sent to City Hall late Wednesday afternoon.

City attorney Casey Gwinn said the case should be heard in San Diego. The Chargers want it heard in a neutral city.

Gwinn also is seeking $25,000 from the Chargers for attorneys' fees in making the motion.

The trigger clause can only be activated if the team's salaries and benefits exceed its salary cap, which team officials say has been surpassed.

City negotiators have seen the Chargers books but haven't commented publicly on the team's ability to trigger. However, city attorney Casey Gwinn said last week that he has "grave doubts that they have presented any evidence that they can trigger."

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press