Judge rules in favor of Biloxi on annexation issue

Biloxi cleared another legal hurdle in protecting its path of growth this week when a Chancery Court judge dismissed an argument by a Harrison County utility district that the city should be required to annex all 163-square miles of the utility district instead of the 7.6 square miles being sought.

The utility issue, a so-called “poison pill” to annexation cases, “is clearly unconstitutional as applied in this specific set of circumstances,” said Special Judge Hollis McGehee, whose ruling referenced The Ten Commandments and Supreme Court Judge Potter Stewart’s famous ruling on pornography – “I know it when I see it.”

Mayor A.J. Holloway said he was pleased with the court’s ruling.

“People today may wonder why this annexation issue is continuing to be in the news, with all of the issues facing the Gulf Coast today,” Holloway said. “As I’ve said all along – dating back to when D’Iberville threatened our northeastern path of growth and Gulfport threatened our northwestern path of growth – Biloxi cannot sit by idly and allow itself to be boxed in. This is about the future, and the need for Biloxi to protect its natural path of growth.

“This latest ruling, I believe, reaffirms our position, and shows that the courts continue to agree with us.”

Read the ruling: To read the judge’s ruling, click here.