CERTAIN MARTINSVILLE ANNEXATION TERRITORY LANDOWNERS, Appellants-Petitioners,
CITY OF MARTINSVILLE, Appellee-Respondent
APPEAL FROM THE MORGAN CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Jeffrey V. Boles, Special Judge. Cause No. 55D01-1211-MI-2393.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS: STEPHEN R. BUSCHMANN, Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel, P.C., Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: NICHOLAS K. KILE, MARK J. CRANDLEY, HILLARY J. CLOSE, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana.
KIRSCH, Judge. ROBB, J., concurs. BAKER, J., concurs with separate opinion.
The Appellants are remonstrators (" the Remonstrators" ) who appeal the trial court's order denying their remonstrance, affirming the City of Martinsville's (" the City" ) annexation ordinance, and approving the annexation of certain land surrounding the City. The Remonstrators raise several issues on appeal; however, we find the following issue dispositive: whether the appeal should be dismissed as moot because the annexation has become final, and there is no effective relief that this court can render to the Remonstrators.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On March 19, 2012, the City introduced Resolution 2012-283, which approved a fiscal plan, dated March 19, 2012, that proposed to annex approximately 5,000 acres of land surrounding the City. On August 12, 2012, the City adopted Ordinance 2012-1667, amending the initial proposal and reducing the amount of land to be annexed to 3,030 acres. On August 13, 2012, the City published notice of the adoption of Ordinance 2012-1667. On November 9, 2012, the Remonstrators filed their petition remonstrating against the proposed annexation. A trial was conducted, and after hearing evidence and arguments, the trial court entered its judgment on January 15, 2014 against the Remonstrators and upholding the annexation. The Remonstrators now appeal.
DISCUSSION AND DECISION
The General Assembly has delegated part of its power to re-establish and change governmental unit boundaries to local legislatures. Bradley v. City of New Castle, 764 N.E.2d 212, 216 (Ind. 2002) (citing Perry Twp. v. Indplis. Power & Light Co., 224 Ind. 59, 73, 64 N.E.2d 296, 302 (1946)). Thus, annexation is an essentially legislative function. In re Petition to Annex Approximately 7,806 Acres of Real Estate into City of Jeffersonville, 891 N.E.2d 1157, 1160 (Ind.Ct.App. 2008) (citing Bradley, 764 N.E.2d at 215), trans. denied. It is subject to judicial review only as provided by statute. Id. ...