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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Over the property owners’ objections, the town of Flower Mound annexed approximately 5,044 acres of land. In response, property owners Orric and Carole Freeman filed a petition to disannex approximately 1,200 acres within the annexed area (the affected area) on the ground that Flower Mound had failed to provide services to the affected area. Flower Mound took no action on the petition, and the Freemans filed suit. Flower Mound filed an answer and a plea to the jurisdiction, claiming that the Freemans did not have standing to maintain a disannexation suit. The trial court granted Flower Mound’s plea to the jurisdiction, “based on the finding that partial disannexation is not authorized by [section] 43.141.” The Freemans appealed. HOLDING:Affirmed. This case involves the interpretation of Texas Local Government Code 43.141(a). The Freemans contend that the trial court erred in holding that they were not permitted to seek disannexation of their property from Flower Mound, because they did not seek to disannex the entire area originally annexed by Flower Mound, and because they were not joined by a majority of voters in the entire originally annexed area. Section 43.141(a) provides that “[a] majority of the qualified voters of an annexed area may petition the governing body of the municipality to disannex the area if the municipality fails or refuses to provide services or to cause services to be provided to the area within the [statutorily prescribed] period.” The court clarifies that the parties’ dispute is over the meaning of the phrase “an annexed area.” The court finds that the Eastland Court of Appeals has recently addressed this issue, holding that “[t]he more reasonable construction of Section 43.141(a) is that”[a] majority of the qualified voters of an annexed area’ means a majority of the qualified voters of the [entire area] that was previously annexed.” Smith v. City of Brownwood, 161 S.W.3d 675 (Tex. App. Eastland 2005, no pet.). The court agrees with the Eastland court’s opinion and holds that 43.141(a) provides that only a majority of voters within an entire annexed area may petition for disannexation for a municipality’s failure to provide services. Accordingly, the court finds the trial court did not err in its interpretation of the statute and in its conclusion that the Freemans did not have standing to bring suit. Therefore, the court holds that the trial court’s granting of Flower Mound’s plea to the jurisdiction was proper. OPINION:Livingston, J.; Livingston, Dauphinot, and McCoy, JJ.

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