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Judge dismisses one count in Confederate statue lawsuit, but principal allegations remain

A woman with arms outstretched talks to a group of people

A judge this week dismissed one of the three charges brought by Confederate legacy groups in a lawsuit alleging the city is not allowed to give its statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee to a group that plans to melt it.

But the principal allegations of the lawsuit remain and will go to trial Feb. 1.

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The Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation and the Ratcliffe Foundation are suing the City of Charlottesville in an attempt to force the local government to take back the statue from the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. Charlottesville City Council gave the Lee statue to the Center in December 2021. The organization plans to melt it and transform the bronze into new artwork.

On Tuesday, the Hon. Paul M. Peatross dismissed a charge that the city violated the Freedom of Information Act during the meetings in which it voted to give the statue to the Heritage Center. 

The city received six other proposals from groups wishing to take the station. Trevilian was among them.

The two counts that allege the city violated state and local law by giving the statue to an entity that planned to destroy it remain.

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More on the lawsuit and the African American Heritage Center’s plan for the statue