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Friday, February 22, 2013 - 20:44
EL PASO — Judge Stephen Ables filed a temporary injunction order Friday, replacing a restraining order that had put a stop to Socorro's annexation plans.
The order allows the City of Socorro to move forward with annexation plans, but they cannot implement any of the plans.
Socorro City Spokesperson Dave Garcia said the ruling is what the city has been asking for all along.
"We argued and got into the ruling that we need to move forward to save money, save the process and continue moving forward," said Garcia.
Last week a judge ruled that all legal cases related to the annexation plans, along with the legality of Socorro City Council member term extensions, would be decided by one judge.
Visiting Judge Stephen Ables heard the case in the 346th District Court Friday and ruled that Socorro can proceed with planning for the annexation. However, if the court finds that the city council members who decided on the annexation are not legally in office, then the annexation will be considered null and void.
Socorro and San Elizario packed the courtroom and said they hope Judge Ables' decision will put a stop to the annexation.
Socorro resident Suky Ramos said she hopes Judge Ables will find that council members were in office illegally.
"I think the Attorney General has provided that opinion. The County is making a great case and I'm proud of them because we just as well prevailed. I think they need to learn to respect state laws, the Texas Constitution," said Ramos.
Some residents of San Elizario aren't waiting for the courts and are considering incorporating San Elizario to avoid the annexation altogether.
"Anything we can do to help our cause to avoid being taken over, gobbled up by Socorro, is an interest of every person in San Elizario," said Ramon Holguin who was born in San Elizario.
Judge Ables scheduled a hearing on April 25 to allow both sides to state their case, then he will make a final decision.