Lafayette, Broussard land dispute in judge’s hands

LAFAYETTE (AP) — A bitter dispute between City-Parish President Joey Durel and Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais is at a standstill.

A state District Court judge said he needs more time to decide a 2010 lawsuit about the annexation of land.

The dispute began when Broussard and Lafayette wanted to annex the same property. Lafayette ultimately annexed an area including the Plantation Oaks subdivision and Vieux Chenes Golf Course.

Broussard disputed the move, saying some residents would prefer to become part of the smaller municipality. Lafayette then filed a motion for summary judgment, which, if granted, would dismiss the case.

“If we win and the judge denies the motion for summary judgment, then the case has to go to trial,” Allan Durand, the attorney representing Broussard in this case.

Durand and City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert appeared before District Judge Durwood Conque for a hearing, but Conque didn’t immediately rule.

Hebert said he expects Conque to issue a written ruling over the next two weeks.

“There is no reason to have a trial because all of the facts that are important are in dispute, and the law is in our favor,” Hebert told the City-Parish Council.

The dispute is one of two that have left Durel and Langlinais at odds. The feud escalated in 2011 when Lafayette Utilities System officials sent the smaller municipality an $825,000 bill for water the city of Broussard used but didn’t purchase after workers discovered the water somehow bypassed a meter.

Durel said he wanted to limit water sales and letting contracts for other services expire unless Broussard dropped both lawsuits.

Langlinais, however, doesn’t plan to drop the lawsuit, Durand said.

“There were some settlement discussions earlier this week, but they didn’t come to anything,” Durand said.

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