Valley Grande: Appeal to Supreme Court last chance for incorporation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The final decision on Valley Grande’s incorporation could occur next month.

According to Susan Copeland, attorney with J. Doyle Fuller &045; the legal firm representing Valley Grande residents favoring incorporation &045; a writ of mandamus filed by her office last month currently rests with the Alabama Supreme Court.

The writ, an extraordinary appeal occurring when no other option exists, was filed in July in response to a ruling from Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins.

Wiggins denied a motion to dismiss a writ of mandamus filed by attorney Collins Pettaway, the attorney representing Valley Grande residents opposing incorporation.

Copeland, however, argued that Wiggins didn’t have the jurisdiction to consider Pettaway’s writ.

According to Copeland, if the court thinks a writ has no merit, it’ll be dismissed. In the case of her writ, though, the court asked Pettaway to file briefs on why her writ shouldn’t be issued. Copeland then responded last Thursday to Pettaway’s briefs on why it should be issued.

If the Supreme Court finds in her favor, Pettaway’s writ in the lower court will be dismissed and the case will be finished. If it decides against Copeland, attorneys will stand before Wiggins in a hearing and discuss the merits of Pettaway’s writ.

Copeland argued that Pettaway had 42 days after Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones entered Valley Grande’s order of incorporation to appeal through statutory methods.

Valley Grande voted in favor of incorporating Jan. 9, 2003, by a large majority. On Jan. 8 Pettaway filed objections to Jones’ Dec. 16, 2002, decision to allow the election to occur. Jones overruled those objections at a hearing on Jan. 15, 2003, and on Feb. 3 he entered an order of incorporation for Valley Grande.