Court upholds lower court decision on Elizabethton annexation

From Staff Reports

   The State Court of Appeals in Knoxville, in a unanimous decision, affirmed a lower court ruling that landowners who are exempt from annexation do not have standing to contest the annexation.
   The suit, filed by Benjamin M. Bowman, Dana Dykes and Cecil B. Babb, contested the right of the City of Elizabethton to annex their property.
   On Aug. 8, 1997, the city adopted three ordinances annexing property in three separate locations.
   On Oct. 31, 2000, after the above suit was filed, the city amended the ordinances to exclude properties owned by the above landowners from the area annexed.
   As a result of the exclusion, Carter County Chancellor G. Richard Johnson ruled the landowners had no standing to prosecute the suit contesting the annexation. The landowners appealed Chancellor Johnson's ruling to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.
   Other landowners who were not excluded in the Oct. 31 ordinance sought to intervene and contest the city's right to annex.
   However, their suit was also dismissed upon a finding by the Trial Court that they had not filed an exception within 30 days after passage of the annexation ordinance.
   In a decision handed down Dec. 28, 2001, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court's resolution, both as to the landowners and the other parties attempting to intervene, and ordered the landowners to pay costs of appeal.
   Joseph E. May, Mount Carmel, was the attorney for the landowners. City Attorney Roger Day and Charlton R. DeVault Jr. of Kingsport represented the City of Elizabethton.