The long-running legal battle between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a new development. According to the New York Times, Disney has sent letters to the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other state entities this week, stating that the company would pursue more lawsuits over the state not complying with public records requests.
Disney Threatens Another Lawsuit Against Ron DeSantis
Per the Times, Disney filed a motion this past Friday, September 1, 2023, to amend its federal suit to remove complaints specifically related to the development contracts for the former Reedy Creek Improvement District — which is what the state lawsuit against the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District covers — and leave Disney’s accusation that DeSantis violated the company’s First Amendment rights intact. The motion was denied later that day by Judge Allen Winsor in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee.
In that same motion, however, Disney disclosed that DeSantis and six other state entities had not complied with public records requests from May of this year, made by the company’s lawyers during the discovery process of both cases. This week, Disney mailed letters to the offices of DeSantis and the other state entities, “saying that the company would sue each under Florida’s public records act unless the requested materials were made available by Sept. 6.”
It has now been nearly four months since our request, and we have yet to receive any of the requested records or any substantive response asserting valid exemptions.”
Adam Losey, Orlando lawyer working for Disney, as stated in one of the letters
Disney is asking for “all documents and communications, including but not limited to text messages, Signal messages, and WhatsApp messages on any devices” with the keywords “Disney” or “mouse,” among others, according to the letters.
This is the latest entry in the feud between Disney and DeSantis, coming just days after the revelation that Disney will be footing the bill on both sides of its lawsuit against CFTOD, who is suing the company in state court. DeSantis told CNBC back in August that he has “moved on” from his battles with The Walt Disney Company, and wants the whole issue to be dropped.