Village Files Motion to Dismiss in Labor Drive Suit

By Jeremy Coumbes on August 3, 2021 at 4:36pm

The Village of South Jacksonville is looking to end a nearly six-year-long court dispute.

Attorney David E. Leefers filed a motion to dismiss this afternoon in Morgan County Circuit Court in the ongoing suit filed by Jacksonville Affordable Housing, LP, otherwise known as Labor Drive.

In the lawsuit, Labor Drive alleges it discovered in the Spring of 2015 that the village had been overcharging residents of Labor Drive for water and sewer services over the past decade. The lawsuit alleges that between January 2006 to December 2014, residents of Labor Drive were overcharged over $326,000, and from January 1, 2015, to May of 2015 they were overcharged nearly $35,000.

In the motion filed today, the Village alleges that JAH “failed to comply with the … mandatory ordinances which provide the sole and exclusive remedy for a user or customer to dispute the methodology employed or computation of the charges for water and wastewater.”

The motion goes on to say the lawsuit “is barred as a matter of law.” In the announcement, Village Mayor Tyson Manker says he directed Villiage Council to file the motion saying “It is a basic rule of law that administrative appeals must be utilized prior to litigation in the courts.”

Manker called it “astounding” that the plaintiffs in the case never once communicated and disagreement about their water billing prior to filing suit.

The time-stamped motion can be viewed at: