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Published: Wednesday, 1/26/2005

Sylvania Township: Property owners file suit


Some Sylvania Township homeowners, once defendants in a lawsuit filed by Sylvania, have now filed their own lawsuit alleging that they were the targets of a lawsuit the city knew, or should have known, was without merit.

The property owners are among those who were defendants in an action filed in 2000 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court by Sylvania claiming that the defendants should be required to annex into the city.

The city's claim rested on their requirement that property owners annex if they receive city water and sewer service.

The case was decided in October, 2001 by Judge James Bates, who ruled that Sylvania had agreed to provide sewer service the Sylvania Township area in an agreement signed in 1973.

Because of that earlier agreement with Lucas County, the city could not exact an additional requirement of the property owners, Judge Bates ruled.

That ruling was upheld by the 6th District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court declined to review the case.

The lawsuit recently filed by the former defendants in Lucas County Common Pleas Court is essentially a re-filing of an action brought by the property owners as a counter-claim in the original case.

The action against the city contends that the mayor and City Council should have known that they had no right to require annexation and that the lawsuits filed by the city "constitute a malicious prosecution of law and an abuse of power and process."

Sylvania Law Director James Moan said he hadn't yet seen the new action and was unable to comment specifically on the case.

The action lists 20 property owners as plaintiffs, most of whom live on Wicklow Woods Drive, just north of Sylvania Avenue between McCord and King roads.

The lawsuit seeks "in excess of $25,000,'' on each of three counts. It has been assigned to Judge Frederick McDonald.

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