Federal Judge Sandy Mattice has directed attorneys in the lawsuit seeking to halt County Commission opening prayers to file legal briefs, including analysis of a new commission policy in which a list of local ministers is being compiled.
Judge Mattice said he wants the briefs prior to the scheduled July 26 hearing on a motion by plaintiffs for an injunction stopping the prayers until a decision is reached in the case.
Tommy Coleman and Brandon Jones filed the suit, which now only names Hamilton County, Tn.
The briefs are due next Thursday and, the judge notes, should be brief. He said they may not exceed 25 pages. He said responses to briefs are due by July 23 and shold be no more than five pages.
He is also asking for the names of all witnesses due to testify at the hearing and a description - not to exceed 25 words - of their anticipated testimony. He also told the attorneys to describe the exhibits they plan to introduce in no more than 10 words per exhibit.
He said failure to comply with the order may result in sanctions and could cause the suit to be dismissed.