Judge Timothy Frawley told attorneys the intent of the people committing the violations is not important in the case.
City Attorney James Sanchez stopped short of celebrating the judge's tentative rulings.
"We feel very confident that the judge will consider all of the things we have raised and we're looking forward to his decision."
STOP attorney Bradley Hertz essentially waved the white flag in court asking for a final ruling as soon as possible.
"If the ruling is as the judge hinted, and we believe there are grounds for appeal it would be an emergency writ to the Third District Court of Appeal and they've been known to act quickly in the past when there's a pre-election deadline."
STOP has until February 27th to get a measure before the City Council and on the June ballot.
The judge says he will issue a final ruling next week.
Three Sacramento residents have dropped their lawsuit against the city for allegedly providing "secret subsidies" to the Kings' arena.
UPDATE Aug. 13, 11:52 a.m. - The City of Sacramento has sold $299 million in bonds to help pay for the construction of a new arena in downtown Sacramento.
The City of Sacramento has agreed to hold 15 million emails as part of a lawsuit filed by two people who filed a California Public Records Act Request.
Closing arguments are complete in the trial over whether the city of Sacramento provided an illegal subsidy to the Sacramento Kings ownership group as part of the arena deal.
A lawsuit against the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings has gone to trial.