Valley Grande may head to state high court

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Valley Grande’s weeks of waiting for a court decision may turn into months.

According to Susan Copeland, attorney with J. Doyle Fuller &045;&045; attorney

representing Valley Grande residents favoring incorporation &045;&045;, Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins denied a motion to dismiss a writ of mandamus filed by attorney Collins Pettaway, attorney representing Valley Grande residents opposing incorporation.

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According to Copeland, her office learned of Wiggins’ decision Monday morning.

Copeland said her office’s next step would be to file a writ of mandamus with the Alabama Supreme Court. The writ, which Copeland said she was planning on filing this week, will state Wiggins didn’t have the jurisdiction to consider Pettaway’s writ.

Copeland said a writ of mandamus is an extraordinary appeal and occurs when no other course is available. Copeland added that Pettaway had 42 days after Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones entered Valley Grande’s order of incorporation to appeal through statutory methods.

A hearing on Valley Grande’s incorporation was scheduled for Monday, but was canceled after a discussion between Fuller, Pettaway and Wiggins, Copeland said.

Copeland said Fuller discussed the motion to dismiss with Wiggins before it was filed, and suggested that Wiggins rule on it since, regardless of the decision, it would be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Monday’s hearing was dismissed as &uot;a matter of judicial economy,&uot; Copeland said.

The matter could appear before the Supreme Court before year’s end, Copeland said, and added that she would request the Court examine the issue quickly.

Valley Grande Mayor Herb Story approved of the development. &uot;I wish it could have happened sooner,&uot; Story said. &uot;It’s time all of this was over.&uot;