City of Bloomington Takes Legal Action to Expedite West-Side Annexation Amid Legal Battles

FILE PHOTO: August 4, 2021: Colby Wicker, of County Residents Against Annexation, at an information table outside City Hall after members of the Bloomington City Council voted to take a recess and then meet online on Zoom for a hearing as part of the annexation meetings, Wednesday, August 4, 2021, in Bloomington, Ind. The meeting was moved online after the COVID-19 mask mandate was renewed due to low vaccination rates and the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Staff report

Bloomington, Indiana – September 16, 2023

The City of Bloomington has taken action to advance its annexation of west-side Areas 1A and 1B by moving to dismiss constitutional claims related to these areas in a separate lawsuit. The move was announced on Wednesday, September 13. The city has faced legal challenges.

The decision follows a ruling made on Tuesday, September 5, by Special Judge Nathan Nikirk in the case of County Residents Against Annexation v. the City of Bloomington. This lawsuit, initiated by some residents from Areas 1A and 1B opposing the annexation of west-side neighborhoods, led to a significant development.

Judge Nikirk ordered a “stay” in the proceedings, effectively halting them until “lawsuits involving the same parties filed by the city of Bloomington against the Monroe County Auditor have been fully and finally decided.”

In its motion for the voluntary dismissal of these claims, the City cited its desire to expedite the remonstrance case before Judge Nikirk, in accordance with his directive.

The City intends to continue pursuing constitutional claims in other annexation efforts, including Areas 1C, 2, 3, 4, and 5. However, recognizing the potential for lengthy constitutional litigation, it has chosen to drop these claims concerning west-side areas 1A and 1B to facilitate a more prompt resolution of that specific annexation.

Mayor John Hamilton emphasized the importance of resolving the annexation issue without further delay, stating, “Uncertainty and delayed annexation is disruptive to all concerned. We have long sought a timely annexation to right-size our city, consistent with state law and despite repeated illegal interventions from the state government. Now is the time to get this major component resolved. We are confident in the propriety and value of the annexation and want to move forward so that Bloomington can continue to thrive and grow.”

Rate this post

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.1 / 5. Vote count: 8

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Bloomingtonian on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!