Brannock & Humphries’ Appellate Win Leads To Invalidation Of Annexation Ordinance
A victory by Brannock & Humphries in the appellate court several months ago paid big dividends today, when a Lee County trial judge invalidated the City of Cape Coral’s attempt to annex six parcels of environmentally sensitive land.
The trial court granted a writ of certiorari filed by several residents of Matlacha, an island community in unincorporated Lee County, who opposed the annexation. The trial court had previously ruled that those residents lacked standing, or legal authority, to bring the lawsuit. However, following advocacy by Brannock & Humphries, the Second District Court of Appeal overturned that decision in May.
With the merits of the case teed up for resolution after the Second District’s decision, the trial court unwound the annexation, ruling that the City Council had applied the incorrect law in determining whether the property was sufficiently contiguous to be annexed. The trial court also found deficiencies in the process employed by the City Council to pass the annexation ordinance.