IN THE MATTER OF THE ENLARGEMENT AND EXTENSION OF THE MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES OF THE TOWN OF TERRY, MISSISSIPPI: GREG WILSON, DAVID McGUFFEE, JOYCE WALLACE, KEVIN BRYANT AND ARTHUR HARVEY
TOWN OF TERRY, MISSISSIPPI
OF JUDGMENT: 10/22/2015
COUNTY CHANCERY COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. J. DEWAYNE THOMAS
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: JOHN PRESTON SCANLON JERRY L.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: RAJITA IYER MOSS.
RANDOLPH, P.J., KING AND BEAM, JJ.
RANDOLPH, PRESIDING JUSTICE.
The Town of Terry sought to annex five territories adjacent
to the existing Town-Territory 1 to the north, Territory 2 to
the west, Territory 3 to the east, Territory 4 to the
northeast, and Territory 5 to the south. The Chancery Court
of Hinds County determined such an extensive annexation was
unreasonable. However, the chancellor partially granted the
Town's annexation request, finding their request for
Territories 2 and 3 was reasonable. Some of the objectors
appealed. Finding no error, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In May 2012, the Town of Terry passed an annexation ordinance
seeking to enlarge its corporate boundaries by adding five
tracts of land outside the Town in unincorporated Hinds
County. As a result, the Town filed a petition with the Hinds
County Chancery Court seeking approval, ratification, and
confirmation of the proposed annexation. The Town served the
cities of Byram and Florence with process and published
notice in The Clarion-Ledger.
Neither city filed objections or answers to the Town's
petition. Five objectors-Greg Wilson, David McGuffee, Joyce
Wallace, Kevin Bryant, and Arthur Harvey-answered and
objected to the petition through joint counsel. Following a
trial, the chancellor granted the Town's petition in
part. The chancellor found the annexation of Territories 1,
4, and 5 to be unreasonable due to the Town's inability
to bear the financial burden of such a large-scale
annexation, coupled with its lack of planning regarding the
expansion of municipal services into all five proposed areas.
However, following an analysis of the twelve indicia of
reasonableness, the chancellor found a limited annexation of
Territories 2 and 3 was reasonable. The Objectors
The sole issue on appeal is whether the chancellor's
partial grant of the Town's annexation petition was
reasonable and supported by substantial, credible evidence.
"The role of the judiciary in annexations is limited to
one question: whether the annexation is
reasonable."Enlargement and Extension of Mun.
Boundaries of City ofMadison v. City of
Madison, 650 So.2d 490, 494 (Miss. 1995). This Court
will not reverse a chancellor's finding of reasonableness
unless that finding is manifestly wrong and/or not supported
by substantial and credible evidence. Extension of
Boundaries of City of Tupelov. City of Tupelo,