Annexation lawsuit may drag on
BATON ROUGE - The court battle over annexations by the city of Baton Rouge may drag on longer than first expected. A judge today denied a request to expedite the case, saying the case didn't meet qualifications under the statute used in the suit.
Former State Representative Woody Jenkins filed the suit and spoke harsh words directed at city leaders today at Baton Rouge Press Club.
"Our lawmakers who make law should be first ones to live by the law," Jenkins said Monday. "The real issue here is lawlessness."
His comments drew equally strong criticism from East Baton Rouge Metro Council member John Delgado.
"Clearly the actions of the city council are not illegal in any way," Delgado said. "Whether a court decides we followed procedures or not, that's for a judge to decide, not Mr. Jenkins."
Jenkins filed suit to try and block annexations by Baton Rouge for portions of the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General hospital for a number of reasons. He made his case saying that an un-annexed railroad track violates the rules.
"Kansas City Southern Railroad, they did not sign the petition," Jenkins said. "They never gave permission to be annexed."
City officials disagree with that. And taking it a step further, the city said Jenkins has no right to sue in this case, since he doesn't live in the affected area.
"He needs to have a real stake in the outcome," said Mary Olive Pierson, an attorney hired by the city. "He doesn't live in the area to be annexed. His tax bases will not be changed, nothing will happen to him."
The city has fifteen days to respond to the lawsuit. The city said the recent annexations are final.