The National Football League filed suit in Oakland yesterday to have the Raiders operated there by a receivership until legal battles over moving the franchise to Los Angeles are settled.
The suit asked Alameda County Superior Court to authorize a provisional, neutral person to sign a lease with the Oakland Coliseum.
The latest move is part of a breach-of-contract suit against the Raiders, now controlled by Al Davis, managing general partner. A hearing is scheduled for March 28.
The NFL obtained a temporary restraining order against the Raiders moving before other club owners voted, 22-0, against a transfer. NFL attorney Warren George contended the Raiders may be in contempt of court because Davis has moved some office operations to Los Angeles.
Raider attorney, Joseph Alioto, a former mayor of San Francisco, was reported to be in St. Louis and was not available for comment. But Al LoCasale, executive assistant to Davis, said, "This suit is as silly as the eminent domain suit brought by the city of Oakland; it's ludicrous.
"In order of importance, it is like saying who can buy socks, jocks and T-shirts. If they want a receiver, one of the most proven ones I know is Fred Biletnikoff (retired Raider pass catcher).
"Time is becoming an element now," LoCasale said, more seriously. "A lot of parties are really being harmed. We don't have any obligations up north (in Oakland) but we do down south (in Los Angeles). No judge can now say we haven't exhausted remedies for relief.
"I don't remember such a to-do when the team that left Cleveland became the Los Angeles Rams."
LoCosale said it is his understanding that Oakland Coliseum can be rented for more than one year by someone other than the Raiders, and for no less than the terms that were offered the Raiders.
If this motion is granted, the receivership would be allowed to take over all the Raider property, sell tickets for the 1980 session, sign radio and television contracts and discipline any employe who did not follow orders.
"Our concern is to maintain the status quo," said George. "We're concerned that if one side wins in court that it actually will have won nothing."
Another NFL official cited precedents to substantiate the Raiders being placed in receivership.
Charles W. Sullivan, an attorney and vice president of the New England Patroits, noted that the National Hockey League was upheld in a federal court when it voted to block the move of the California Golden Seals to Vancouver, also from Oakland.
The Golden Seals were placed in a league-imposed receivership of league owners, as limited partners, who agreed to pay the club's outstanding bills.
Still another precedent pointed out by Sullivan was the NFL's taking over the Green Bay franchise in 1921, when the owner failed to obey regulations, and selling the club to Curly Lambeau.
More pertinent, Sullivan contended, was Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn being upheld in the courts when he exercised bylaws to void the sale of several Oakland A's players. A lower court ruled that Kuhn was empowered to do so by baseball's constitution and the decision was upheld at the appellate level.