Ohio Public Law Update; Appeal of Bakies v. Perrysburg Decision

    March 2005
    Ohio Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Bakies v. Perrysburg Decision

    In November, we notified you of an important recent Ohio Court of Appeals decision that reaffirmed the rights of municipalities to condition the provision of water and sewer services to extraterritorial users on annexation – Bakies v. Perrysburg (6th Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 30, 2004). We just learned that, recently, the Ohio Supreme Court granted jurisdiction to hear an appeal of the decision.

    The plaintiffs in the Bakies case argued that the Ohio Supreme Court should hear their appeal because this is a case of "great public and general interest." Plaintiffs contend that once a municipality provides such services outside its boundaries, it may not cut off an extraterritorial user unless there exists a compelling reason and alternate services are available to the user. Plaintiffs also assert that a municipality may not condition the continued provision of such services to existing extraterritorial users upon annexation. In addition, the plaintiffs argue that the Court of Appeals decision chips away at the rights of township users to enjoy a rural lifestyle without the threat of annexation, taxation and development requirements.

    Now that the Ohio Supreme Court has granted certiorari to hear this appeal, the appellants (Bakies plaintiffs) must file their appellate brief within 40 days from the date the clerk has filed the record from the Court of Appeals (which has not occurred as yet). Perrysburg and any amicus parties in support of Perrysburg's position must then file their appellate briefs 30 days after the filing of the appellant's brief – sometime in the middle of May.

    If you are interested in joining in an amicus coalition to file a brief in support of the Bakies v. Perrysburg Ohio Court of Appeals decision, please contact Vincent Atriano, +1.614.365.2783, or Kendra S. Sherman, +1.614.365.2726, of the Squire Sanders Columbus office.