Indepedence County has made the first legal move in its battle with the City of Batesville. The county filed its first suit against Batesville on Friday.
Independence County Judge Robert Griffin confirmed late Saturday morning that Independence County has filed a lawsuit against the City of Batesville in regards to the county's district court.
In the first count of the suit, the filing states that the county wishes to have a judgement stating that "the district court is not solely operated by Independence County."
Also, as stated in the second count, the county is asking for a "declaratory judgement that the city of Batesville is obligated to fund some salary and operational costs associated with the district court of Independence County."
Sources have said they expect service of the suit to occur today.
Griffin responded with comments via text message.
"The county filed a non-monetary procedural suit for declaratory judgement in a court of proper jurisdiction," Griffin said early Saturday afternoon via text message. "Our attorneys have been unable to agree on the law of what the district court is, county only or a state pilot court as the law says."
Griffin emphasized that the suit did not have a monetary figure attached to it which means the county is seeking only a declaration outlined.
Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh responded later Saturday also via text message.
"It's unfortunate that the County has apparently chosen to file suit against the City of Batesville," Elumbaugh said in a text message. "The City has offered time and again for the City Council and the Quorum Court to meet together to work out our differences but those offers have fallen on deaf ears. I haven't seen the lawsuit and won't comment further on pending litigation."
Tensions between the two bodies of government have been teetering since late summer when the county expressed its desire to collect monies from the City of Batesville for fees regarding the use of the Independence County Jail.
That sparked a debate over obligatory monies as well as past agreements between the two government entities. Both have talked of holding meetings, but neither have been able to get to the negotiation table.
What: IC files declaratory suit
Info: Suit has no monetary demand