AUBURN — Attorneys for Androscoggin County filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit lodged by retired county workers who say the county should continue to pay spousal health care benefits.

The defense motions seeking to dismiss the case argued that the complaint was filed too late and that plaintiffs failed to follow legal requirements for suing governmental entities.

A judge met behind closed doors Monday with attorneys on both sides and said she would try to schedule hearings on those motions for next month.

A pending motion to change venue for the trial, also filed by the county, was shelved until after the motions for dismissal were heard, a court clerk said.

A year ago, county commissioners sent letters to former county workers letting them know that the county expected to stop paying lifetime health care insurance premiums to husbands and wives of deceased retirees.

More than a dozen retired county workers, their spouses and active county workers brought the suit, saying they had agreed to lower pay raises and, in some cases, no pay raises at all in order to get the added health care benefit.

The list of plaintiffs includes a judge, commissioners and an emergency management director.

A former sheriff was seeking to withdraw as a plaintiff from the suit. A judge granted his motion Monday.