Valley Grande scores yet another court win

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2004

With Valley Grande, it ain’t over ’til it’s over. There’s just disagreement on when it’s over.

According to Valley Grande Town Attorney Susan Copeland, the legal challenges against the town are finished. Copeland received notice on Tuesday that the Alabama Supreme Court had denied an application for reconsideration filed by Collins Pettaway, attorney for Valley Grande residents opposing incorporation.

Pettaway filed the application in December asking the court to reconsider its Nov. 21 ruling, which states a writ of mandamus filed by Pettaway should be dismissed.

Pettaway’s writ of mandamus, an extraordinary appeal occurring when no other option exists, was appealed to the Supreme Court by J. Doyle Fuller, Valley Grande town attorney. The Nov. 21 ruling ordered Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins to dismiss Pettaway’s writ, which ended the legal challenge to Valley Grande’s existence.

Pettaway then filed the application for reconsideration, which was denied on Friday.

Pettaway disagreed. &uot;There are some other people that expressed interest in this matter, but they’re not my clients. I’m not sure what they’ll do,&uot; he said. &uot;The ball is still dribbling.&uot;

Pettaway added that he hadn’t yet spoken with his clients about the decision. He noted, though, that legal options still existed. A quo warranto action, which questions the validity of a town to exist, could be an option.

Pettaway also pointed to questions about where Valley Grande’s town limits begin and end. &uot;We don’t know where Valley Grande starts,&uot; he said.

On Jan. 5 Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr., along with Chief Deputy Randy Pugh and Valley Grande Mayor Herb Story, examined a map of the town to determine where Selma’s police jurisdiction lay.

Story said that the Supreme Court’s decision meant the town could begin work on making Selma, Dallas County and Valley Grande a better place to live. &uot;We’re just glad that it’s over,&uot; he said. &uot;This decision couldn’t have come at a better time.&uot;

On Saturday Valley Grande will celebrate Founder’s Day &045; the one-year anniversary of its incorporation. Story said several people from surrounding towns and counties were invited to the event.

One of them is Copeland.

Copeland said she would address the crowd on Saturday and let everyone know that no more legal challenges existed. &uot;It’s a birthday present for Valley Grande,&uot; she said. &uot;This will get the word out that Valley Grande is open for business.&uot;