Pre-Trial Motions Begin for Arlene's Flowers Lawsuit - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pre-Trial Motions Begin for Arlene's Flowers Lawsuit

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KENNEWICK, Wash., -- Pre-trial motion hearings began in Benton County Court Wednesday morning for a lawsuit against a Richland flower shop owner accused of discrimination.

Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers, is accused of discrimination for not supplying flowers to a same sex wedding.

Wednesday morning was the beginning of a lengthy pre-trial process for both sides.  Judge Salvador Mendoza denied a motion from the State Attorney General because they did not file it on time.

"Even if the court were to strike the state's motion (the underlying substantive motion) as untimely, I'm just going to refile it tomorrow and we'll be back here again," says Todd Bowers, senior counsel for the State Attorney General's office.

Stutzman's attorneys are challenging the State Attorney General's authority to bring the case to trial.

The flower shop owner says she refused to serve the couple because of her religious beliefs.

Attorneys say they expect to go to trial next spring.

To read Judge Mendoza's order on the motions, click here.