BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, DAN LEE AND SULLIVAN
DAN LEE, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:
The Town of Lucedale, Mississippi, appeals from an order of the Chancery Court of George County entered August 8, 1983. The circumstances which resulted in that order are uncontested.
On May 6, 1975, George County Nursing Home, Inc., (hereinafter called the Nursing Home) filed a declaration in the Circuit Court of George County, Mississippi, against the Town of Lucedale. On motion of the Town, the case was transferred from the Circuit Court to the Chancery Court.
After conforming its pleadings to Chancery Court practice, the Nursing Home charged:
(1) that the Town of Lucedale adopted a resolution
declaring necessary certain additions and extensions to the municipal water and sewer system into an area of the town where the Nursing Home owned property;
(2) that the Nursing Home owned only 31% of the front footage upon which the improvements abutted, but that it was assessed with 75% of the total assessment for the improvements; and,
(3) that the Town should be required to assess the improvements properly.
For answer to the bill of complaint, the Town of Lucedale admitted that the Nursing Home was charged with 75% of the total assessment but affirmatively pled:
(1) that the Nursing Home had asked for its property to be annexed by the Town;
(2) that the Nursing Home had asked for the municipal water and sewer system to be extended to its property; and,
(3) that the Nursing Home had agreed to pay the additional costs of the improvements, which the Town noted had to be greater than those required by strictly residential areas.
In response to the affirmative defenses, the Nursing Home admitted that it asked to be brought inside the city limits. The remainder of the Town's allegations were denied.
On May 4 and May 5, 1976, the Chancery Court heard the case and took it under advisement to consider a decision. Years passed, and no decision was rendered. More than five (5) years later, on July 17, 1981, the Chancery Court entered an order removing the case from the active trial docket because no action had taken place in the case for the preceding twelve months. On August 20, 1981, the Chancery Court, upon being advised that the case ...