Lawyers for the Buffalo Chip Campground argued before Fourth Circuit Judge Gordon Swanson today that he should dismiss the case against their client’s municipal status.
John Dorsey, representing the Buffalo Chip, says the state doesn’t have the power to dismiss a municipality. Dorsey says while the state may believe itself to possess the power to dissolve an existing municipality, it has provided no authority for such omnipotence.
Buffalo Chip Spokesman, Attorney Kent Hagg, also in attendance at today’s hearing, says from what they see in the statute – the state can dissolve corporations but not municipal corporations…
But, James Moore, representing the state disagrees. He says the state can challenge the legality of a municipality and may challenge its incorporation. He wrote in his brief to Judge Swanson that what the state can grant it can also take away.
It’s the latest chapter in the Buffalo Chip incorporation fight that made its way to the Supreme Court earlier this year. The high court ruled any action challenging the incorporation must come from the state.
That ruling, according to Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie, has him wondering about the Chip’s latest argument – because it’s a polar opposite of what they earlier argued in court…
The city of Sturgis and several Meade County landowners initially brought forth the lawsuit, saying Meade County Commissioners erred in allowing the vote to incorporate in the first place.
New state law says a municipality must have at least 100 residents and at least 45 registered voters.
Judge Swanson said he would take the request under advisement, and issue a written decision soon – probably within 30 days.