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Judge dismisses MCA lawsuit against Cape Coral

Island organization expected to appeal the decision

January 17, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

On Friday, Jan. 5, Circuit Judge Keith Kyle dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Matlacha Civic Association against the city Cape Coral in an effort to reverse the city's annexation of six lots on Matlacha Isles.

In his ruling, Kyle said, "it is ordered and adjudged that the petition for 'Writ of Certiorari' is dismissed for lack of standing."

According to the Wex legal dictionary "standing" is defined as the "capacity of a party to bring suit in court. ... These typically revolve around the requirement that plaintiffs have sustained or will sustain direct injury or harm and that this harm is redressable."

Kyle further stated that a party must suffer "material injury" in order to have "standing" to challenge the annexation and that the "material injury must arise from the governing body's failure to comply with the procedures and requirements of annexation."

Kyle determined that none of the parties suffered "material injury."

Mike Hannon, a Matlacha resident and an attorney who is not a member of the Florida Bar, has been assisting Matlacha Civic Association attorneys Matthew Uhle and Stephen Brannock in the lawsuit.

"Cape Coral's purchase of land outside its borders for annexation is unprecedented in Florida law," Mike Hannon said. "In addition, Cape Coral's argument on standing - which Judge Kyle accepted - has also never been applied to a citizen challenge to annexation."

Hannon said the Matlacha Civic Association will be filing an appeal with the Second District Court of Appeals. He feels the court should be more comfortable dealing with these issues of first impression.

Dismissing the case on standing is unfortunate, Hannon said, as Judge Kyle clearly signaled that the annexation itself is unlawful.



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