Liberty Township is running out of options in its federal court battle against developers who tried to build a Walmart store in the township.

Liberty Township is running out of options in its federal court battle against developers who tried to build a Walmart store in the township.

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 31 denied Liberty Township's request for a rehearing in the case.

In July, township trustees asked for a rehearing of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals majority decision that favored Wedgewood Limited Partnership in the battle that began in 2004 to stop a proposed Walmart.

In June, a 2-1 decision by the court upheld the September 2008 decision of U.S. District judge Algenon Marbley, who ruled Liberty Township violated the partnership's constitutional right to due process regarding a proposed 220,598-square-foot Walmart Superstore. The 34-acre site at 10600 Sawmill Parkway is in Wedgewood Commerce Center.

The only option now open to the township is to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, but requests for information on that move have not been returned by press time.

Township attorney Scott Campbell has said the appeals at this stage are at the discretion of the court. The township has exhausted all other rights to appeal.

Marbley ruled the township had violated the partnership's due process when trustees issued a January 2004 public statement and instructions to the zoning department regarding future administration of the commerce center's development plan, which dates to 1991.

Wedgewood attorney Bruce Ingram said, "We're pleased with the Sixth Circuit's decision not to rehear the three-judge panel decision which was in our view manifestly correct."

Unless the township petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case would move back to the Federal District Court before Marbley for a hearing on damages.

"We have been granted some rejudgment on the constitutional denial of Wedgewood's civil rights and as a result of that we're entitled to a damages hearing to present evidence on both compensatory damages as well as attorneys' fees," Ingram said.

In 2008, Ingram said damages could exceed $1-million.

The federal case is one of two legal battles between Liberty Township and Wedgewood.

The other was filed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court and went to the Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Wedgewood's lawyers have taken that case to the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Their action followed an April Court of Appeals ruling that upheld Delaware County Common Pleas Court judge Duncan Whitney's June 2009 decision that Wedgewood's fight to obtain a zoning permit from the township is moot because Walmart abandoned plans to build a store.