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Croke v. Lowndes County Board of Supervisors

March 18, 1999

DOUGLAS CROKE, GEORGE JOHNSON, GRANVILLE A. PEPPER, WILLIAM TURNER, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF LANDOWNERS WITHIN SOUTHGATE SEWER DISTRICT
v.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND SOUTHGATE SEWER DISTRICT AND ITS BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sullivan, Presiding Justice

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/22/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN MONTGOMERY

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 03/18/99

EN BANC.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. On December 18, 1995, Appellants Douglas Croke, George Johnson, Granville A. Pepper, and William Turner (the landowners), all residents of Lowndes County, Mississippi, filed a Bill of Exceptions and Complaint for Declaratory Relief on behalf of all residents or landowners located within the sewer district known as Southgate Sewer District. These landowners sought judicial review of certain actions of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and a declaration that the local and private law which created the Southgate Sewer District, House Bill 1577, 1991 Miss. Local & Priv. Laws Ch. 838 [House Bill 1577], is unconstitutional.

¶2. The matter was submitted to the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Mississippi, on stipulated facts for a bench decision on disputed applications of law. On October 23, 1997, the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Circuit Judge John M. Montgomery presiding, entered its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and its Order dismissing the case with prejudice.

¶3. The landowners appeal and raise the following issues:

(1) Whether House Bill 1577 is an unconstitutional local and private bill depriving the residents of Southgate Sewer District of substantial rights secured by the general laws; and

(2) Whether the original Use Ordinance passed by the Defendant Board of Supervisors in 1994, and the Amended Use Ordinance passed by said Board in 1995, are unconstitutional as applied to the defendants.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

ΒΆ4. The following is a summation of the facts ...


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