A preliminary hearing was scheduled December 15 in a Wake County courtroom over the lawsuit filed by several cities seeking to repeal a new law that could lead to several proposed annexations being stopped. The law passed by the most recent session of the General Assembly put a halt to a proposed annexation if at least 60 percent of the landowners in the target areas signed a petition opposing the annexation.
The cities wanted to stop any action on petitions already filed with county boards of elections. Another court said there was no need for that since the peititions had not yet been certified by those boards. The cities in the lawsuit are Goldsboro, Kinston, Lexington, Wilmington and Fayetteville.
Meanwhile, landowners in area that were targeted for annexation have joined the state and local elections board as defendants. Those property owners are Robert Pleasants of Wayne County, Mark Capps and Stewart Smith of Lenoir County, John Frank and Frank Hunter near Lexington. A company owning property near Wilmington, Royal Palms, LLC, has also joined the lawsuit.