DeKalb County School District v. City of Atlanta
The DeKalb County School District filed suit challenging an annexation by the City of Atlanta seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Prior to the lawsuit, dozens of residents living in DeKalb County requested that their properties be annexed into the City of Atlanta. The proponents of the annexation sought to use the 60% method of annexation, which requires 60% of the electors and 60% of the owners of the land area to approve the annexation. Atlanta notified DeKalb County of the petition at the end of August 2016 and adopted an annexation ordinance on November 21, 2016.
The school district alleged that the annexation violated state law and that the state law violated the due process clauses of both the federal and state constitutions because the state law did not require the city to notify the school district prior to annexing property within the school district. The trial court held that the petition must be dismissed because Atlanta had not waived it sovereign immunity, which barred the school district from challenging the annexation. The trial court also held that the school district lacked standing to bring its due process claims because it did not have a property interest in tax revenues and could not assert a constitutional challenge to an annexation based upon the annexation's effects on tax revenue.