Counsel for Nick Diaz has responded to the Nevada Athletic Commission’s opposition of its motion for an injunction against the UFC welterweight's temporary suspension.
The document of opposition, filed through the Nevada attorney general’s office earlier this week, claimed that Diaz can’t take legal action until the NAC makes a decision regarding his disciplinary complaint. It also states that Diaz isn’t likely to succeed “on the merit of his arguments” and that his temporary suspension hasn’t caused the type of harm worthy of court intervention.
Diaz’s response, filed through attorney Ross C. Goodman to Nevada district court on Friday, argues that the NAC has requested “an unlimited power of interim suspension” through its opposition brief. The 12-page document disputes the NAC’s claim that Diaz has failed to “exhaust his available administrative remedies” and claims that “the issues raised in [Diaz’s] complaint are ripe for adjudication.”
“[Diaz’s] complaint puts in issue the [NAC] administrative procedure itself, and therefore the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies has no application,” Goodman wrote. “Further, there exists no administrative remedy for the Commission’s failure to convene a prompt hearing or to seek relief from an administrative agency in respect of that same agency’s violation of a licensee’s statutory and due process rights.”
Diaz -- a medical marijuana patient diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in his home state of California -- tested positive for marijuana metabolite following his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Feb. 4. Diaz was suspended by the commission on Feb. 22 pending a disciplinary hearing. Goodman has previously asserted that Diaz’s suspension should have been addressed within 45 days of Feb. 22.
Goodman also claimed that Diaz’s potential success in future disciplinary proceedings has no bearing on the current situation.
“The issue is not whether [Diaz] or the Commission is more likely to be successful in connection with the underlying disciplinary proceedings. The issue is whether [Diaz] is likely to succeed on the merits of his claim commenced in this court -- sufficient to ground the preliminary injunctive relief sought,” he wrote.
In addition, Goodman argues that the NAC has yet to produce any evidence that could refute Diaz’s claim that the suspension has caused the fighter irreparable harm. In closing, the document reiterates Diaz’s request for a preliminary injunction against the NAC, which would give the Stockton, Calif., native relief from his ongoing suspension as well as any future disciplinary action by the commission. Diaz’s complaint is expected to be heard in court on May 14.