Supreme Court Clears Way for Country Crossing Raid

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court has cleared the way for the governor's task force on gambling to raid the electronic bingo operation at the Country Crossing development in Dothan.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a judge's order blocking the governor's task force from raiding Country Crossing and seizing bingo machines.

The court did not address the task force's request to be given more time to conduct the raid since the original 10-day limit on the search warrant expired. This means the task force will have to get a judge to issue a new search warrant.

The Supreme Court agreed with the task force's contention that the Houston County Commission and a local economic development authority did not have standing to seek a court order blocking the raid.

---Gov. Riley's Response---

MONTGOMERY -- The Alabama Supreme Court today dismissed the case filed by the Houston County Commission seeking to prevent Governor Bob Riley’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling from seizing illegal slot machines being operated at Country Crossing in Cottonwood.

On January 6, a circuit judge in Dale County issued an order restraining the Task Force from enforcing Alabama’s anti-gambling laws at Country Crossing. The order was issued in the middle of the night with no lawyer for the Task Force being present. The lawyers who obtained that middle-of-the-night order later conceded that it had been illegally obtained, but the trial judge reissued the restraining order on January 11.

The Supreme Court’s order states that the “trial court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to interfere with a criminal proceeding by civil action.” The ruling that the trial court had exceeded its jurisdiction was unanimous.

“This decision is a major victory for the rule of law in Alabama. The Supreme Court’s order makes clear that gambling bosses around the State will not be able to prevent the State’s anti-gambling laws from being enforced,” said Governor Bob Riley.

“We were confident that the Supreme Court would not allow this unprecedented order disrupting law enforcement activities to stand. It shows that the law will prevail over money and political influence

“This order will allow our Task Force to move forward in seizing these illegal slot machines, and it sends a strong message that similar efforts to stop seizures at other casinos around Alabama will not be permitted,” said Governor Riley.

In response to press inquiries as to the timing for future law enforcement operations, Governor Riley said, “We will not comment on the timing of law enforcement operations. The operators of all illegal casinos in this State should not sleep well tonight, tomorrow night, or any night in the future. The anti-gambling laws of Alabama are going to be enforced.”

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  • by REM on Jan 17, 2010 at 02:29 PM
  • by What's Up Bob on Jan 17, 2010 at 01:59 PM
    Meth Lab? Comparing that to a bingo pavillion is like trying to compare a massive heart attack to minor indegestion. The people who need to wake up are the ones who don't seem to be aware of the fact that electronic bingo has been in the state of Alabama for many, many years. I like others would truly like to know why Bob Riley isn't going after VictoryLand like he is CC? I believe that's a fair question & one that truly needs to be answered. If he's going to shut one down, he needs to shut them all down. I smell corruption here and it stinks all the way to Mississippi. And please, anyone who's willing to give an answer, don't use the excuse that the machines at VictoryLand are legal, because good old double standard Bob has already stated, the only legal bingo in Alabama is paper bingo. So what's up Bob? What about VictoryLand and all the other non Native American establishments running electronic bingo? When are you planning to sic your task force on them.
  • by Jay Location: Wicksburg on Jan 16, 2010 at 06:36 PM
    Let's get this straight.!! According to the mis-informed people writing on this crap, if we build a METH lab to supply all of Southeast Alabama addicts and hire 3,000 workers for the lab, then it will all be LEGAL??? Wake up folks
  • by Hank Location: Ozark on Jan 16, 2010 at 09:45 AM
    electronic bingo and state lotteries do not bother me. What bothers me if why is gambling legal at Victory land but not at country crossing. Either gambling everywhere or gambling no where. I always think of all the money the schools in Florida, Mississsippi, Tennessee, and Georgia have received for Alabamians through their state lotteries. That money could have helped our children.
  • by Tina on Jan 16, 2010 at 08:57 AM
    All you anti-CC crossing people are a bunch of fools. "go riley", "it's illegal", "close the casino", etc... Get your heads out of the clay pit you bunch of LA rednecks! Ronnie Gilly, wether right or wrong is trying to run a business! Better 300 part-time employees who can't draw welfare than 300 people on welfare! People in this area should be able to decide for themselves if they want to play bingo or not. We DO NOT need a bunch of holier than thou (no reference to christianity, only people who think they are better than others) fools trying to determine that for us! I do not go to CC, but if I choose to do so I want that right, I don't need some narrow minded idoit telling me I can't. Bingo is NOT illegal in this sate and there has been no definitive ruling on electronic bingo yet. The criteria set by the supreme court was for a different case you idots! I agree Ronnie for Gov. Atleast then we would have the ability to vote & choose!
  • by REM on Jan 16, 2010 at 08:51 AM
    The key word here is MACHINES! The fine governor of Alabama said any bingo played on MACHINES in the State of Alabama was illegal! VICTORY LAND has MACHINES & has had them for years! As to how many people have been put to work by CC, when you figure in all the construction workers, landscapers, designers, the people in accounting & payroll as well as those working in the resturants, bed & breakfast, stores, bingo pavillion and so on, I believe it comes to a lot more than 300. But hey everybody, let's do like the head of Riley's gun toteing task force and give our tax dollars to the state of MISSISSIPPI! I believe before all is said and done, the people of Alabama are going to see where the real corruption lies & I don't think it's going to be coming from CC.
  • by debbie Location: dothan on Jan 16, 2010 at 06:38 AM
    go ronnie gilly run for go governor got my vote do what ever it take help you the people in alabama needs to be heard you are our voice
  • by riley Location: Florida on Jan 16, 2010 at 05:47 AM
    I fully support Gov. Riley, and hope they close the casino in Houston forever!! Nothing but gambling like Biloxi, MS. You may call it Bingo, but it is slot machines. People in this area don't need it. Good Luck! Gov. Riley
  • by Robert Location: Dothan on Jan 16, 2010 at 03:58 AM
    Over $200,000,000 will leave the county to the true backers of the bingo hall each year. Yes most will end up in Las Vegas with the true backers of CC.Ever go to Victoryland? Go see the people sitting around the hall. Judge for yourself if you think most of the people there would be good role models for your grandchildren.Look at the long term picture folks. This story is larger than Houston County today. Have great restaurants and music but gambling and the vices it brings is bad for your families.
  • by daniel Location: dothan on Jan 15, 2010 at 07:26 PM
    Wouldn't it be easier to raid Quincy's at Victoryland? Are the machines different there than at CC? Can Riley or any of his brainless cronies answer these simple questions? Riley is a poor example of how a governor should conduct business, and his "task force" is just so idiotic that it is actually laughable. I honestly didn't think anybody could be this stupid. Live and learn. He's not up for reelection is he? His political career is probably over in any venue unless they start elections for clowns. How about his brainless "task force" leader who didn't mind collecting winnings in an out of state casino, but is willing to lead a raid in his own state against people who are trying to abide by the law. Your resignation might save face for you being involved in such a stupid raid. Let Bob Riley,the Citizens for a Better Alabama, the Columbia Baptists, and all individuals who don't want gambling gather together and pray for forgiveness for all. We won't try and stop you, we are sick of you
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