This is a news flash post.  This afternoon the Raleigh News & Observer posted an online article stating that Superior Court Judge Shannon Joseph struck down as unconstitutional several key sections of the recently enacted legislation that overhauled and neutered North Carolina municipalities’ ability to annex urbanized areas adjoining municipal boundaries.

              The debates and clashes over annexation persisted for years and resulted in one of the most cumbersome and labyrinthine municipal statutes enacted in years.

             To read the article, click here.  To read my previous commentary on this misguided legislation, you’ll find it here: Annexation — Some New and Different Perspectives.

             I have not heard the judge describe the decision, nor have I read the pleadings or the judgment.  My information comes entirely – at this point – from the N&O.  I have learned in law that you should never promise that a certain result will ensue.  But as I sit here I’m considering how high a wager I’ll make that within 30 days of the judgment’s entry this case will be appealed to the Court of Appeals.

            According to the N&O, the problem with the law is that 60 percent of residents living in an annexed area could, through petition, nullify the action.  However, non-resident property owners could “vote,” but resident renters could not.

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