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Nissan annexation case enters federal court

CANTON — The City of Canton’s lawsuit seeking to invalidate a state law that bars the city from annexing the Nissan plant site is now in federal court.

Attorneys for Nissan North America moved the case from Madison County Circuit Court because the city raised new issues in an amended complaint.

A federal judge can hear a case involving questions of state law if opposing parties are citizens of different states. Nissan North America is headquartered in Tennessee though it is incorporated in California.

Canton officials say the 2000 legislation prohibiting the city from annexation violates the equal protection clauses in the U.S. and state constitutions.

The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves and Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson. A hearing date has not been set.

The Madison County Board of Supervisors, siding with Nissan, wants to see the matter dropped.

A board resolution says continuing the lawsuit hampers economic development and tarnishes the reputation of Madison County as a competitive development destination.

Canton also seeks a ruling on whether an agreement made by the previous mayor and aldermen not to annex Nissan is still binding.

Source: AP

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