Supreme Court takes back seat on Valley Grande

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 6, 2002

The Alabama State Supreme Court has decided to take a back seat in the Valley Grande incorporation issue.

Attorney Doyle Fuller, who is handling Valley Grande’s incorporation, said that he had filed a petition with the high court on Monday to set aside a restraining order that was currently stopping residents from incorporating.

Because of Judge Marvin Wiggins decision to take no action on the case at a hearing on Monday, the high court said that Doyle’s petition was now moot, according to attorney Collins Pettaway .

However, Pettaway cautioned those on the side of incorporation. He said a restraining order that halts incorporation efforts is still in effect.

The motion for the restraining order was filed by himself and attorney Kyra Sparks on the behalf of Valley Grande resident Debra Robinson. It was filed on Nov. 22.

Pettaway said that the temporary restraining order halting incorporation efforts was valid for 10 business days and is in effect until Dec. 10.

If any efforts have been made to further the incorporation of Valley Grande during this time, he added, then those people would be in violation of the restraining order.

According to Probate Judge Johnny Jones, the process of incorporation is extremely involved.

First, Jones explained, a petition must be signed by at least 15 percent of qualified electors that live within the area proposed to be incorporated. In addition, at least four qualified electors residing on each quarter of each quarter section must also sign the petition.

The Code of Alabama describes a quarter section as being 40 acres.

People owning at least 60 percent of property in the area must also sign their names.

Those hoping to incorporate must also have a name for their new city and provide an accurate map of the area they hope to make into a town that includes all streets and blocks among other things.

Once all requirements have been met, Jones said, the petition is then filed with the probate judge. Jones then has 30 days to call for an election.

However, Jones said, three inspectors must be appointed by him to manage the election once the petition has been received.

The election itself, though, is straightforward. According to the Code of Alabama, those voting in the election write either &uot;corporation&uot; or &uot;no corporation&uot; on their ballot. If the &uot;corporation&uot; votes win by a majority then within thee days after the election the area is incorporated.