Appeals court tosses out annexation lawsuit

Appeals court tosses out annexation lawsuit

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A state Court of Appeals tossed the appeal of Woody Jenkins who is suing the city of Baton Rouge.

Jenkins, a newspaper owner and former state legislator, has been trying to stop the annexation of several big pieces of the would-be St. George city limits including the Mall of Louisiana.

The Appeals Court ruled that there would be no impact on the police or fire protection of Jenkins' home and therefore he has no right to sue.

"The plan of government is very clear under section 1.09 it says an citizen under the city of Baton Rouge has the right to challenge an illegal annexation. So when they say, I don't have that right, they're really saying neither does anyone else in the city of Baton Rouge to challenge an illegal annexation,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins claims the annexations are illegal because portions of property were left out and therefore do not meet legal requirements.

He also said increasing the city limits puts public safety at risk. The court disagreed, not to mention members of the Metro Council.

“From the council's perspective, of course, everything that we've done in this process is perfectly legal and our parish attorney has given us the information we need to make our decisions and we knew what we were doing,” said Councilman John Delgado.

"We are very pleased with the decision of the Court of Appeal which affirmed the trial court decision to dismiss Woody Jenkins' suit challenging the annexation of the Mall of Louisiana and two hospital properties into the City of Baton Rouge. This will continue to pave the way for the City and the Parish to keep our town and parish together and successfully challenge the effort to break us apart," said Mary Olive Pierson, special council representing Baton Rouge in all St. George matters.

Jenkins said he may ask the court for a re-hearing or appeal to the Supreme Court. Delgado said he's confident the ruling will stand.

"The court of the first circuit unanimous held that he did not have standing to file his lawsuit. Anything beyond this he's just spending his money frivolously on these lawsuits," said Delgado.

“We just want our day in court,” said Jenkins.

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