Sunday, January 17, 2010

State Supreme Court Rules on Local Lawsuit

It is not a moot point. That's the gist of a ruling from the Tennessee Supreme Court over a nearly two-year-old lawsuit between the city of Cookeville, Putnam County and a local property owner. The ruling involves the obligation of local governments to obtain a certificate of public purpose and necessity in order to condemn private property to develop an industrial park. It pertains to the park being developed south of I-40. Although the history is complicated, the main point made by the Supreme Court is that the issue should be sent back to the circuit court for a hearing. The city and county had argued that such a hearing was moot because the plaintiff's property was no longer a part of the proposed business park. But the Supreme Court opinion said, quote, "Tennessee courts do not apply the mootness doctrine mechanically. Rather, when the question of mootness is raised, they consider many factors, including the reason that the case is alleged to be moot, the stage of the proceeding, the importance of the issue to the public, and the probability that the issue will recur." You can read the entire opinion by clicking here.