Appeal delays Montgomery vote
by Franklin Clark, Reporter --
Feb 10, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An election to decide whether businesses in the Montgomery precinct can serve or sell alcohol was stayed, and although one business already has a license to sell alcohol, no more such licenses will be issued to Montgomery precinct business until the courts resolve the matter.

That was the ruling handed down by Trigg Circuit Court Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall III on Monday. Woodall also set a supersedeas bond of $4,000, as he said that was on the high end of an estimate for how much a precinct-wide election would cost.

A supersedeas bond will generally be issued by the court against the appellant who wants a delay until the appeal is over.

W. E. “Petey” Rogers III, who represents Grow Trigg, filed his intent to appeal Woodall’s Jan. 29 ruling, which stated that the Montgomery precinct election to have a vote on alcohol can go forward, late last week.

Rogers had also filed a motion to stay the election itself, which Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries said should happen sometime in mid-March. He said the organization filed the appeal because they want the court of appeals to hear the case again.

Woodall said that if the Kentucky Court of Appeals takes the case it could take a year or more, and if the Kentucky Supreme Court takes it the case could be resolved sooner. He said that “it’s not unusual, but it’s not common” for the KSC to hear a case from a circuit court.

Rogers has said previously that the real issue centers around the definition of a territory, something he said the Kentucky General Assembly changed years after the case Campbell v. Brewer, which he said isn’t applicable to this case because of the general assembly’s actions.

Rogers said he thought Woodall was “hamstrung” by Campbell v. Brewer, a case that he said Woodall “had a hard time getting around.”

The motion says that if an election were held in the Montgomery precinct and the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed Woodall’s ruling, the county would have wasted the money needed to hold the election.

Ken Culwell of Grow Trigg echoed that statement. “Until we have a decision from the Kentucky State Supreme Court on whether or not to hold an election, it’s a waste county funds to proceed,” Culwell said.

However, the motion had stated that the members of Grow Trigg are willing to agree that no alcohol is to be sold in the precinct until a final decision is reached, Rogers said, adding that although he first filed both the notice of appeal and motion to delay in Trigg Circuit Court, they are requesting that the case be transferred to the supreme court since, in his words, “it will probably end up there anyway.”

Donald Thomas, who represents the petitioners in the Montgomery district, agreed Monday afternoon with Woodall, who said that Grow Trigg were indeed named in the case and had standing.

Thomas said earlier that Grow Trigg, a private, incorporated entity, doesn’t have standing to appeal the declaratory judgment or stay the vote.

Thomas argued at the Jan. 28 hearing, and Woodall ruled the morning after, that a precinct-wide election should be permitted because a precinct isn’t the same territory as a county under Kentucky state law.

A hearing on the motion to delay the election was scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. at the Trigg County Circuit Courtroom at the Trigg County Justice Center, unless the parties can come to an agreement.

In Campbell v. Brewer, the KSC ruled in 1994 that a precinct in a wet county can have vote on the issue less than three years after county-wide vote. Roughly 90 days after it voted itself wet, there were petitions in all 16 precincts in Wolfe County.
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