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Court rejects rehearing

A Brookhaven psychologist’s efforts to have an office in apredominantly residential neighborhood were dealt another setbackthis week when the state Court of Appeals denied his request for arehearing of his case.

In March, the court ruled in favor of the city after Dr. AllanHearne appealed an October 2000 circuit court ruling that deniedhim a home occupation special use exemption for an office at 1001North Jackson St. Hearne sought a rehearing on the court’s Marchdecision, but that request was rejected in a decision handed downTuesday.

“I feel they made the proper ruling throughout the entireaffair,” said City Attorney Joe Fernald.

Fernald said city employees had done a good job in handling thesituation and that Hearne had received fair and thorough hearingsthroughout the process.

“The city is satisfied the court made the proper decision,”Fernald said.

Issues raised before the state court in the original appealincluded whether the circuit court used an improper standard ofreview on appeal, whether notice of Hearne’s city appeals hearingwas deficient, whether the city board applied an incorrect legalstandard and whether the board of aldermen acted arbitrarily andcapriciously in its ruling. In their decision, appeals courtjustices either found Hearne’s issues without merit or found noerror on the part of the city.

Following the March ruling, Hearne suggested that only a fewpeople were unhappy with his having the office on North JacksonStreet but many more people were glad it was there.

“I don’t feel like we’re bothering people here and we’re keepingthe place up pretty well,” Hearne said.

Hearne said he purchased in the property in January 1997 withthe understanding it could be used an office. He mentioned otherpossible legal action that could be pursued.

Regarding the latest appeals court action, Hearne may file awrit of certiorari for the state Supreme Court to hear the case.However, Fernald indicated that is an “extraordinary writ” andindicated that only a small percentage of cases are granted theaction.