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February 17th,  2018   -   Memphis Business Journal  /  Elvis Express Radio
The Memphis Grizzlies are used to winning on the court but, today, they won in court.

Shelby County Chancery Court Chancellor Jim Kyle granted a motion to dismiss today in the case of Elvis Presley Enterprises et al. v. City of Memphis et al.

The case, filed by Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) last November, asked the court to issue a declaratory judgment saying that Graceland's proposed 6,000-seat venue would not
violate the City of Memphis arena use agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies. Motions to dismiss EPE's complaint were filed by the city, the Grizzlies and Shelby County and heard by
Kyle Thursday, Feb. 15.

"Today's hearing was to determine if Elvis Presley Enterprises has standing to contest the interpretation of a lease agreement, which EPE states blocks them from expanding their
TIF application," Kyle said. "I rule Elvis Presley Enterprises has not exhausted all administrative remedies and, therefore, has no standing. … All three parties' motions to dismiss are
granted in their entirety. This is not a ruling on the merits or the interpretations of the lease."

During the hearing, Jonathan P. Lakey from Pietrangelo Cook represented the City of Memphis.

“To have a legally protected interest, a plaintiff — EPE — must be a party or a third-party beneficiary to a contract,” Lakey said. “It’s the city’s position that [EPE is] not a third-party
beneficiary to the contract.”

Clarence A. Wilbon, an attorney from Adams and Reese, represented EPE.

In closing arguments today, Wilbon said, "We set a special meeting to approve our request. Leading up to the meeting, [the Memphis Grizzlies organization] slams that contract
down. [The Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis & Shelby County] says, 'We are halting this process. We are not meeting with you until you figure out the
interpretation of this contract.' The facts of this case are [the Grizzlies] interfered with [EPE's] rights and privileges and caused this project to stop. They have taken this contract and
pinned us down with it, saying, 'You aren't a party, so you don't even have the right to look at it.'"

Earlier in the hearing, Kyle said to Wilbon, "[EDGE] accepted an interpretation of the arena use agreement that was different than you did.”

Suggested administrative remedies available to EPE would be going back before EDGE; However, EPE argues the board will not hear their application until the arena use agreement
contract is interpreted.

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