Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita will represent the State of Indiana in opposition to Bloomington’s annexation attempts, according to the County Residents Against Annexation’s press release May 31.
Rokita, along with Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, Deputy Solicitor General James Barta and Deputy Attorneys General Julia Payne and Melinda Holmes, took on the case after they filed a Notice of Intervention in Monroe County Circuit Court.
Bloomington filed identical lawsuits for the seven annexation attempts against Monroe County Auditor Catherine Smith in March 2022.
The city’s position is that all remonstrance waivers, which allow citizens to purchase sewer service from the city as long as they waive their right to oppose annexation, are valid despite a 2019 law that invalidates waivers signed before July 2003. The City of Bloomington said the signatures collected by the County Residents Against Annexation group are not valid because of the waivers.
Smith said in the Herald Times that she followed the 2019 law when she filed the petitions. The state’s intervention in the case falls on the side of Smith and opposes the city’s lawsuit.
County Residents Against Annexation (CRAA) President Margaret Clements said in the press release that Rokita’s involvement was noteworthy.
“We're gratified that Todd Rokita has joined the case, and we believe that the property owners' interests are aligned with the efforts of the auditor to uphold the 2019 law passed by our state's legislature,” Clements said in the press release.