MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Lawyers for Major League Baseball and the Minnesota Twins want to keep documents from a lawsuit brought by the team's landlord confidential.
In a motion filed Friday, attorneys for the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission disagreed, saying such documents should be reviewed by Hennepin County District Judge Harry Crump to determine what should be public under the state's data practices laws.
The documents are being sought by the commission in a lawsuit it originally filed to keep the team from breaking its 2002 lease at the Metrodome. The lawsuit continues because the team could still be eliminated before the 2003 season. The commission maintains that threat has jeopardized its ability to obtain a long-term lease.
The documents include information on loans Twins owner Carl Pohlad made to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and other owners, notes and minutes of meetings as well as an analysis owners have prepared on issues related to eliminating teams. Judge Crump has ordered the owners to provide that information by April 16.
Baseball attorneys had asked commission attorneys to join in signing a protective order that would stipulate that when the commission receives material marked "confidential" it would "treat this material as protected nonpublic data" under the state data practices act.
In the commission's motion, attorney Corey Ayling wrote that no documents have yet been turned over, but given the types of material being sought, "the commission believes that none of the data is subject to trade-secret protection under the act."
A hearing on the issue is set for April 5.
Crump will hold a separate hearing on April 4 on a motion by baseball to dismiss the overall lawsuit. The owners contend the lawsuit is moot because the Twins are playing this year. But the commission, which favors a new stadium, is pressing on in case a new stadium is not approved and baseball tries to eliminate the team after the 2002 season.
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