Judge rules Jenkins does not have legal standing in annexation lawsuit

Judge rules Jenkins does not have legal standing in annexation lawsuit: 10PM coverage

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A judge has ruled that former State Rep. Woody Jenkins does not have a real interest in his lawsuit against the city of Baton Rouge after two major annexations.

The defense have five days to appeal.

Jenkins filed the lawsuit in June after the East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved the annexation of the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Hospital - Bluebonnet. Jenkins, who is a supporter of the highly contested proposed city of St. George, said the annexations of those two facilities into the city of Baton Rouge are illegal.

Before a court hears the merits of that claim, the city said Jenkins isn't a person who has standing to file the lawsuit and wants a judge to decide.

Mary Olive Pierson is the attorney handling the case for the city. She said under the law, Jenkins is not an interested party in the outcome of the case.

"He believes he has an interest because he is a citizen, he says, of the city of Baton Rouge, but it takes more than that," Pierson said. "You can be a citizen, but you also have to have an interest that is different than the general population."

Jenkins said in addition to his Baton Rouge residency, he also has a public safety interest, making him a valid party to file the lawsuit.

"Those of us who live in high crime areas will be adversely affected by transferring a large number of personnel to cover the mall, where there's 15 million visitors a year," Jenkins said. "Without an increase in dollars or personnel, it's going to take away from the already slow response times we have in the inner city."

Both sides agree this is an issue with an outcome that will most likely be appealed.

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