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Judge tosses Baton Rouge annexation lawsuit

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the recent, high-profile annexation of the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Bluebonnet into the city of Baton Rouge.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1y16psQ ) Judge Janice Clark ruled Monday the plaintiff lacked legal standing required to file the suit.

Clark agreed after more than three hours of testimony that plaintiff Woody Jenkins, a conservative activist and former legislator, lacks a "real and actual interest" in the annexations, which is necessary for legal standing.

Jenkins is a resident of the city of Baton Rouge, but he does not live in the recently annexed area. His attorney, Alex St. Amant, argued that under city-parish law, any resident of the city of Baton Rouge has the right to challenge the annexation. Further, he said Jenkins does have a real interest because expanding the footprint of the city of Baton Rouge dilutes the already limited law enforcement resources in the city.

After the ruling, Jenkins said he intends to file an appeal and felt confident the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal will validate him.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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