DAVE BRUNDAGE ET AL. v. CUMBERLAND COUNTY ET AL. (Tenn. December 19, 2011)
This appeal calls into question the proper procedure for obtaining judicial review of a local legislative body's land use decision under the "Jackson Law," Tenn. Code Ann. sections 68-211-701 to -707 (2011). The opponents of a coal ash landfill, approved by the Cumberland County Commission, filed a petition for a statutory writ of certiorari in the Chancery Court for Cumberland County seeking judicial review of the Commission's decision. The trial court dismissed the petition because it was not verified as required by Tenn. Code Ann. sections 27-8-106 (2000). The Court of Appeals affirmed. Brundage v. Cumberland Cnty., No. E2010- 00089-COA-R3-CV, 2010 WL 3025538, at *4 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 4, 2010).
We granted the petitioners' application for permission to appeal because the Jackson Law does not specifically define the procedure for seeking judicial review of a local legislative body's decisions. We have determined (1) that a local legislative body's decision under the Jackson Law may be challenged either by a petition for a statutory writ of certiorari or by a complaint for declaratory judgment and (2) that the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred by failing to treat the statutory petition for writ of certiorari as a complaint for declaratory judgment.
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