After a judge ruled on Friday to deny Bloomington’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit about a plan commission seat, on Monday the city asked the judge to allow for a quick appeal on the ruling.
By ruling on Friday against Bloomington’s bid to get the case dismissed, local special judge Erik Allen was allowing the lawsuit to go forward. If successful, the lawsuit could change the membership of Bloomington’s city plan commission.
If the lawsuit filed by Monroe County GOP chair William Ellis and would-be plan commissioner Andrew Guenther is successful, Guenther would replace Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s appointment to the seat, Chris Cockerham.
The seat became vacant at the start of the year when Bloomington’s mayor John Hamilton decided not to re-appoint Nick Kappas to the plan commission.
On Monday, Bloomington filed a request asking local special judge Erik Allen to certify his denial of the city’s bid to get the case dismissed, so that Bloomington can ask for the court of appeals to look at Allen’s ruling.
It’s called an interlocutory appeal, which is a way for a party in a lawsuit to ask for a second opinion on a ruling during a case, before proceedings have concluded in the lower court.
Christmas morning dawned bright over the now empty lot at 4th and Walnut streets where a parking garage once stood. It offered 352 spaces for people to park their cars, then go to work, shop, or take care of errands in the downtown area.
The demolition started in earnest in late September and was done by early November.
After last Friday’s court ruling, the now smoothed-over dirt lot will probably remain empty for at least a few more months.
In 2017, Indiana’s state legislature passed a law terminating the annexation process that Bloomington was undertaking at the time. The city of Bloomington filed suit and in late April won a judgement in the Monroe Circuit Court against the state: The court concluded that the annexation law, passed as a part of the budget bill, violated two different parts of the state constitution.
The state of Indiana has already taken the first step to appeal the Monroe County court’s ruling—to give formal notice of appeal.
The state’s deadline for the next step, filing a brief with the state’s Supreme Court, would have been this Thursday, June 27. The time limit is 30 days after the date when the trial court clerk gave notice that the record was complete—which was May 28.