Friday, October 30, 2020

Carroll, Northwest Border Issue Finally Heads To Court

lawsuit1After nine years of litigation and two appeals in a border dispute with Northwest ISD, Carroll school officials say the district will finally get to make its case in court.

Carroll and Northwest ISDs have been involved in a legal battle over property south of the current Denton-Tarrant County line.  Historically, CISD has recognized the State of Texas’ original district boundary definition of the county line.

For years, Tarrant and Denton counties were involved in a lawsuit over the northern border, which Tarrant County won. After numerous court battles and appeals, the Texas Supreme Court refused to get involved in the border dispute, and the land was recognized as being part of Tarrant County.

Carroll ISD filed a lawsuit to have the courts officially recognize the border as well. That suit spans a number of years and various motions, rulings and appeals, but has never actually been heard in court.

The 2nd Court of Appeals recently issued a Corrected Judgment, which remanded the matter back to Judge John Chupp’s 141st District Court.

In the most recent appeal, Northwest ISD, for the first time, claimed that it was immune from CISD’s suit.  In response to this claim, and on advice of legal counsel, CISD is left with no recourse but to name members of the Northwest Board and the Superintendent as defendants, but only in their official capacities, not as individuals.

“In so doing, CISD will simply be asking the court to say that the Trustees and Superintendent have no authority to take any action with regard to the territory south of the Denton-Tarrant County line,” said Frank Gilstrap. CISD’s attorney. “Carroll has always contended the boundary between the two school districts is the Denton-Tarrant County line.”

Both districts have open enrollment and give families in the disputed area the choice where to have their children attend school. A court ruling, however, would determine who provides transportation and taxing authority.