Katie Osiecki is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit...

Katie Osiecki is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Stony Brook University's closure of their Southampton campus. A judge ruled that SBU acted illegally by closing the campus. (Aug. 31, 2010) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

In what the plaintiffs' attorney said could be a step toward forcing Stony Brook University to reopen its Southampton campus, legal papers were filed Thursday in State Supreme Court which, when signed, would enforce the decision by the judge who said earlier this week the university violated state education law when it closed the campus.

The paperwork, filed in accordance with state law, is the final step in the action. It is meant to ensure that the "judge made his decision, now all he has to do is sign a judgment that accurately reflects his decision," plaintiff attorney Russell Penzer said Thursday.

"If a judgment is entered directing them to comply with the decision, which we fully expect to happen, and they fail to comply, they will be in contempt of court," Penzer said.

State Supreme Court Justice Paul J. Baisley Jr. ruled Aug. 27 in favor of six Stony Brook Southampton students and a nonprofit, Save the College at Southampton Inc., to fight the closure announced in April. Baisley ruled Stony Brook officials erred by closing the campus without approval from the 10-member Stony Brook Council, as required for any "major plan."

University officials contend they have met legal requirements noted in the court ruling, saying the Council was informed by Stony Brook's president, Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., at its May 11 regular meeting "about both the budgetary impact of residential operations at Southampton, and his intention to relocate a number of academic programs from Southampton to the Stony Brook campus."

The court papers filed Thursday state the "determination to close the Southampton campus . . . is annulled" and the university should "take all necessary steps to restore Southampton campus . . . to its full operational status . . . so that it may commence classes for the spring 2011 semester."

A statement Thursday from the university said: "The issue was discussed at length at the regularly scheduled Council meeting on May 11. The agenda for the October meeting has not yet been set. On all other issues, the judge's ruling speaks for itself; we will continue to address the matter in court, which is the appropriate forum."

State law requires Council approval for "major" plans, according to the decision.

Council chairman Kevin Law declined to comment.

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