Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 15, 2013

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging street improvement project

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Judge Annette J. Scieszinski March 12 in the Appanoose County Courthouse dismissed without prejudice the class action lawsuit challenging a street improvement project filed against the city of Centerville.

The dismissal order filed by Judge Scieszinski states several plaintiffs dismissed their claims in the case and none of the remaining plaintiffs appeared for the March 12 pretrial conference "and the court declares them to be in default. The court deems this action to be abandoned, and a dismissal order should issue."

The judge directed all claims in the Oct. 8, 2012 petition in equity and in the Jan. 3, 2013 first amended petition in equity "are dismissed without prejudice to re-filing."

Court costs of $225 was assessed to the lead plaintiff in the case, First Baptist Church, and have been paid.

Eleven plaintiffs remained listed in the case and failed to appear for the March 12 pretrial conference and were declared in default.

The plaintiff's lawsuit contended the special preliminary assessments imposed by the city of Centerville for the proposed street improvements project "exceeds the special benefit conferred to the owners and exceeds any amount allowable" under Iowa law and is excessive, unfair, illegal, inappropriate and in violation of both the Constitution of Iowa and of the United States.

Streets in the project area include portions of East and West State streets and North 10th Street.