Nikirk had ordered that the standard annexation trials for Area 1A and Area 1B would be delayed, until Bloomington’s related but separate litigation—over constitutional questions related to annexation waivers—is resolved.
In addition to the appeals process, the city of Bloomington has now started another procedure that could lead to faster scheduling of a standard annexation trial for the two areas. The idea is to take a step towards quick resolution of the related constitutional litigation—but just for Area 1A and Area 1B.
On Wednesday, Bloomington’s legal tactic was to file a motion to dismiss its own lawsuits for Area 1A and Area 1B, over the constitutional question of waivers.
Lawrence county circuit court photo of special judge for Bloomington annexation lawsuit Nathan Nikirk
Order issued on Sept. 5, 2023 by judge Nathan Nikirk
The special judge assigned to a Bloomington annexation case has ruled that a standard trial to which remonstrators are entitled will not go ahead in mid-November as originally scheduled.
That’s what remonstrators in Area 1A and Area 1B had requested—a delay on those proceedings, until some related litigation has been settled. The related litigation was initiated by the city of Bloomington, on constitutional grounds.
After hearing oral arguments for a little more than one hour on Friday morning, judge Nathan Nikirk told attorneys for annexation remonstrators, and for the city of Bloomington, that he’d take their arguments under advisement.
Then he told them he would issue a ruling next Tuesday, the day after Labor Day.
That means on Sept. 5, Nikirk will answer this question: Should the standard annexation trial for Area 1A and Area 1B be put off—until a constitutional question about the status of annexation waivers is resolved?
[Updated Sept. 5 at 3:01 p.m. Nikirk granted the request by remonstrators for a stay on the trial. Here’s a link: Nikirk’s order on the motion.]