Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

19 October 2016

Federal Judge to Hold Emergency Hearing on Halting City of South Fulton Referendum

The vote on creating a new city in unincorporated south Fulton County may be put on hold, if one local resident has his way.

Sandtown resident John Davis filed suit late last week asking the United States District Court to rule the City of South Fulton legislation unconstitutional and stop the 8 November referendum.

The complaint relies on the uncertainty surrounding Atlanta's annexation of several neighborhoods in the Cascade community as the reason why the South Fulton cityhood referendum should be halted.

"Because of an October 3, 2016 Supreme Court of Georgia opinion in one lawsuit, however, and another lawsuit pending before that court that will not be decided before the Referendum, Plaintiff’s and similarly situated unincorporated Fulton County voters’ rights will be diluted and debased if the Referendum takes place next month," the Davis lawsuit reads. "This dilution and debasement arises because House Bill 514 requires Defendants to count the votes of persons who will not and others who may not even reside in the proposed new city."

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alford Dempsey overturned a series of annexations completed by Georgia's capital city in June, placing homeowners and registered voters who thought they were Atlanta residents back into the proposed city of South Fulton. Dempsey's ruling was appealed by Atlanta to the State Supreme Court, meaning that it's possible that the Atlanta annexations might be reinstated. Until the high court issues a final opinion on the matter, however, those residents in the contested areas will have an opportunity to vote on creating a new city called South Fulton.

U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross will hear the case, set for Thursday, 27 October.

Davis is represented by Robert Highsmith of the law firm Holland and Knight.

Davis v. Cooney et al by Andre Walker on Scribd