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April 19, 2002

Charlevoix school ruling delayed

      CHARLEVOIX - The Michigan Court of Appeals is seeking more information before it rules whether a judge was right to dismiss a lawsuit against the Charlevoix school district regarding a controversial sewer extension to the new high school.
      The Court of Appeals issued an order this week remanding the case of Kenneth Staley, et al vs. the Charlevoix Public Schools Board of Education back to Charlevoix County's 33rd Circuit Court.
      The order included instructions for all parties to provide documentation concerning any changes that may have evolved in the sewer project since Circuit Judge Richard M. Pajtas dismissed the lawsuit last September 14.
      In his September ruling, Pajtas found that the lawsuit was without merit and that the sewer extension project could move forward.
      The group of residents claimed the school should not have used proceeds from an $18 million bond issue approved by voters in October, 1999 to extend a sewer for a new high school on Marion Center Road.
      According to the order, Judge Pajtas now has 56 days to allow both sides to once again argue their original cases based on any new information submitted, and to issue a new opinion on those arguments.

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