Annexation ruling expected by May 1

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 15, 2004

A ruling in the Brookhaven annexation case should be made by May1, chancery court officials said Wednesday.

Special Chancellor John C. Ross, of Corinth, was expected toissue an opinion in the case by today, but he informed LincolnCounty Chancery Court officials earlier this week that he wouldhave to delay his decision until no later than May 1.

“He said he had gotten behind on some other issues,” saidChancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop.

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Ross was unavailable for comment.

Bishop said Ross gave no indication on how he would rule in thecase. The clerk added it would be improper for the judge to do so,anyway.

“He knew a lot of people are wanting a decision, and he said hewould be prompt about May 1,” Bishop said.

The city has asked the court to allow the annexation ofapproximately 16 square miles of territory, which would more thantriple the city’s current size. However, more than 200 objectorshave challenged the city’s ability to meet expansion-relatedobligations.

Attorneys in the case speculated that Ross is taking a closelook at trial evidence and reviewing testimony from the trial. CityAttorney Joe Fernald expected that the judge was crafting adecision that would be satisfactory to the parties involved and onethat would stand up on appeal if that happens.

“He’s being very careful and very explicit about what he wantsus to have or not to have,” Fernald said.

Carlisle Henderson, an attorney representing a majority of theobjectors, agreed that the judge is taking his time and carefullyconsidering how to rule in the case.

“It looks like we have a couple of weeks to wait,” Hendersonsaid.