TERRELL, Texas — Land and business owners who are opposed to the City of Terrell’s attempt at annexation and took their fight to court have been awarded an injunction by a judge today.
Kaufman County Court at Law Judge # 2 Bobby Rich signed an order this afternoon, more than a week after testimony concluded, which temporarily prevents the City of Terrell from any further action on their plans to annex property along its main entryways into the city.
The plaintiffs say that the City of Terrell failed to adequately notify those that would be impacted by the annexation. They also argued that the city failed to follow the law by violating the Texas Open Meetings Act and the city’s own charter.
Terrell city manager Mike Sims testified that the city was not trying to comply with the Texas Open Meetings Act regarding the annexation resolutions the council passed earlier this year. He said that decision was based on counsel from city attorneys.
The city also argued that their annexation plans were to enforce zoning “in hopes of preventing new unsavory commercial businesses from locating and creating a negative impact” on the city and that the injunction would prevent the council from voting, which is their fundamental right.
“We are thrilled to hear the Court has granted our temporary injunction. This of course means that the Court found a substantial likelihood that the city’s activities were illegal, and they should not be allowed to continue,” Elizabeth Alvarez tells inForney.com.
Alvarez is as an attorney for Guest & Gray, the firm hired by over 70 landowners to fight the proposed annexation.
“For the duration of this litigation our clients are entitled to a preservation of the status quo, and that is what they got. Our firm is proud to once again protect the innocent from government overreach. It is vitally important that all government officials follow the rules set by the Municipal Annexation Act and the Texas Open Meetings Act, which the city of Terrell has failed to do” Alvarez said.
According to a copy of the order obtained by inforney.com, the court found, "the annexation of property that is unlawfully annexed is harmful to the Plaintiffs, and that left unrestrained, the Defendants [city of Terrell] will engage in and/or continue to engage in illegal activities."
This is a developing story.