Justia Mississippi Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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The Mississippi Transportation Commission (MTC) procured some land from O.R. and Carylon Garretson via eminent domain in order to construct a bypass in Greene County. The Garretsons later filed a complaint against the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), alleging that the bypass construction had caused silt to flood onto their remaining land, damaging their timber. MDOT filed a motion for summary judgment and argued that it was immune under Mississippi Code Section 11-46-9(1), subsections (d) (discretionary-function immunity) and (p) (design immunity). The Supreme Court agreed that MDOT was immune from liability under subsection (p) and affirmed. View "Garretson v. Mississippi Department of Transportation" on Justia Law

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In 1972, the Board of Supervisors of Jackson County, Mississippi, approved the final plat for Spring Lake Subdivision. At that time, the only vehicular access to the subdivision was Spring Lake Drive East, which crossed Spring Lake Dam. The McBrooms, who owned three subdivision lots on Spring Lake, and the dam forming the lake and providing access to the subdivision, contended that Jackson County was obligated to maintain the deteriorating roadway by virtue of the McBrooms’ dedication of the roadway to public use and Jackson County’s acceptance of their dedication. The Chancery Court held that the McBrooms were entitled to no relief. Finding that the Spring Lake Dam and the roadway over it were dedicated to public use and accepted by Jackson County under common law (as evidenced by more than thirty years of continuous use by the public), the Supreme Court reversed and remanded for entry of judgment for the McBrooms. View "McBroom v. Jackson County" on Justia Law

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Petitioners Catherine Babb, Beth King, and Robert King filed a Petition for Inclusion of certain real property into Oxford, Mississippi, pursuant to Mississippi Code Sections 21-1-45 to 47. The property was scheduled to become Baptist Memorial Hospital - North Mississippi, Inc. (BMH), a new, multi-million-dollar medical facility. Objectors Kenneth Ferrell and others filed an objection. The Chancery Court found the Petitioners met the statutory requirements for inclusion and approved the Petition. The Objectors appealed. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Chancery Court. View "In the Matter of Inclusion into the City of Oxford" on Justia Law

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This case arose from the City of Hattiesburg’s annexation of property in 2007. Pearson’s Fireworks leased land which was part of the annexed property for the purpose of selling fireworks during the Fourth of July and New Year’s holiday seasons. Prior to the annexation, the City passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of fireworks within city limits. After the annexation, the City notified Pearson’s that it could no longer sell fireworks on the newly annexed land. Pearson’s then filed suit against the City. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the City, and Pearson’s appealed. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Pearson's Fireworks, Inc. v. City of Hattiesburg" on Justia Law

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The Board of Aldermen for the City of Ridgeland denied Baymeadows, LLC's proposed repair plans to correct 1,478 cited code violations, and Baymeadows appealed. Upon review of the Board's decision, the Supreme Court held that the Board did not adequately state its rationale for denying the proposed plans. Therefore, the Court remanded the case back to the Board either to issue Baymeadows a permit or provide an appropriate factual basis for its denial. View "Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland" on Justia Law

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Psycamore, LLC, sought approval to operate a mental-health treatment facility in an area of Ocean Springs where the zoning ordinance allowed facilities for the examination and treatment of human patients. The City denied Psycamore’s application, but the circuit court reversed and the City appealed. Because the Supreme Court found that the City’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, it affirmed the circuit court’s ruling. View "City of Ocean Springs v. Psycamore, LLC" on Justia Law

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In a case consolidating the competing annexation petitions of Biloxi and D’Iberville, the chancellor ultimately awarded each city a reduced area from that requested, determining that it was unreasonable for either city to annex the entire area requested, and then determining that it was reasonable to award each city a smaller, reduced area. Both cities appeaedl this decision, and Biloxi raised jurisdictional issues for the first time on appeal. Because Biloxi raised personal jurisdiction on behalf of third parties, and because Biloxi failed to raise this issue at the trial-court level, the Supreme Court found that Biloxi not only lacked standing to raise this issue, it also waived it. Further, because the chancellor’s decision awarding each city a reduced area was reasonable and supported by substantial evidence, the Supreme Court affirmed the annexations as modified by the chancellor. View "In The Matter of the Enlarging, Extending and Defining the Corporate Limits and Boundaries of the City of Biloxi" on Justia Law

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Roundstone Development, LLC, sought to develop an affordable-housing subdivision in the City of Natchez. The land which it sought to develop had two different zoning classifications: O-L (Open-Land) and R-1 (Single-Family Residential). The City’s Planning Commission denied Roundstone's site plan, finding that the O-L area must be rezoned R-1 before the development could be approved. The Mayor and Board of Alderman then denied Roundstone's rezoning request. The Circuit Court of Adams County and the Court of Appeals both affirmed the City’s decision. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to address: (1) whether the City erred in requiring that the O-L area be rezoned R-1 and (2) whether the City erred in failing to grant Roundstone's rezoning request. Upon review, the Court found that the City’s interpretation of its zoning ordinance to require rezoning from O-L to R-1 was not manifestly unreasonable and that it did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in denying the rezoning. Therefore, the Court affirmed the judgments of the circuit court and the Court of Appeals. View "Roundstone Development, LLC v. City of Natchez" on Justia Law

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The issue before the Supreme Court concerned whether the Union County Circuit Court erred in finding that the City of New Albany Board of Aldermen's (City) decision that a tract of land had been legally rezoned from agricultural to industrial was arbitrary and capricious and that the City failed to give statutorily required notice before changing the zoning designation. Upon review of the trial court record and the applicable legal authority, the Supreme Court found that the circuit court did not err: in finding that the City acted arbitrarily and capriciously; in finding that the City failed to give statutorily required notice; and in concluding that the property should remain zoned for agricultural use. The Court vacated the Court of Appeals' holding and reinstated the judgment of the circuit court. View "Riverside Traffic Systems, Inc. v. Bostwick" on Justia Law