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21st March 2014

A ruling yesterday in the contentious annexation lawsuit brought by Bemidji Township against the City of Bemidji.

Ninth District Court judge Paul Benshoof threw out the Township's suit with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be appealed or brought again. The decision keeps in place the decade-old Joint Powers and Orderly Annexation Agreements that the two entities are members of along with Northern Township.

In a strongly worded conclusion to the ruling, Benshoof bemoans the lack of cooperation between the two entities, writing that there is nothing he could “do or say that might lead to a rebirth of the 2004 common vision." He then compared the political situation to a land dispute between neighbors or a bitter divorce, saying that the legal issues were simple, but the political issues were not.

The judge ended the ruling by saying, “the way forward will be for our city and township leaders to choose.”

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