Appellate Court dismisses challenge of Monroe land transfer to KJ

MONROE – A court challenge to the annexation of 164 acres of land in the Town of Monroe to the Village of Kiryas Joel was dismissed by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court.

The challenge by the Village of South Blooming Grove was tossed on appeal on the ground that it has been rendered academic since as of January 1, 2019, the disputed acreage became part of the newly established Town of Palm Tree.

“It is a fundamental principle of our jurisprudence that the power of a court to declare the law only arises out of, and is limited to, determining the rights of persons which are actually controverted in a particular case pending before the tribunal,” the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled in a decision dated September 18, 2019. “This principle, which forbids courts to pass on academic, hypothetical, moot, or otherwise abstract questions, is founded both in constitutional separation-of-powers doctrine, and in methodological strictures, which inhere in the decisional process of a common-law judiciary. Accordingly, an appeal will be considered moot unless the rights of the parties will be directly affected by the determination of an appeal.”

The judges wrote that since the disputed land is already part of the Town of Palm Tree, any determination by this court on the appeal will not affect the rights of the parties.”

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