Judge hears arguments in Charleston cruise case

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) - Carnival Cruise Lines, the State Ports Authority and the City of Charleston were in court to get a lawsuit against them dropped.

Local environmental and preservation groups want to block cruise ship operations in Charleston and block the development of a terminal for the ships.

The state supreme court has appointed Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman to make recommendations on this case before the supreme court makes any decisions.

The lawsuit makes multiple claims against cruise ships in Charleston. Several local preservation groups say the ships violate many city ordinances, are a nuisance and create a public health issue.

In court, the defendants spoke out against the claims. The city's attorney says the ships do not violate any ordinances. The defendants say the city embraces the cruise industry.

The judge did not make any decisions on Thursday on whether to drop any of the claims made against the cruise ship industry and the City of Charleston. The hearing will be continued at 10 a.m. on Friday.

The Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association, Preservation Society of Charleston, Coastal Conservation League, and Charlestowne Neighborhood Association filed the lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines, the State Ports Authority and City of Charleston back in June of last year.

A federal lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers also challenging the terminal was filed last week in Washington.

Copyright 2012 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.