The U.S. District Court of Eastern Arkansas has declined to rule on Elijah Mondy's request regarding the city of Helena-West Helena's motion to dismiss the case concerning reducing the number of wards and city council members in the city. Voters approved the initiated ordinance in the November 2016 general election.

The U.S. District Court of Eastern Arkansas has declined to rule on Elijah Mondy's request regarding the city of Helena-West Helena's motion to dismiss the case concerning reducing the number of wards and city council members in the city. Voters approved the initiated ordinance in the November 2016 general election.

According to the court order signed by U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes, Mondy's complaint failed to establish that his claim arises under federal law, therefore the federal court lacks jurisdiction and ruled that the issues entertained in the complaint are state court issues and not a federal matter.

The city filed a motion to dismiss Mondy's action and to disqualify his attorney, James Valley.

Holmes wrote, “Because Mondy fails to state a claim that arises under federal law, the case is dismissed without prejudice and the motion to dismiss counsel is moot.”

The legal wrangling dates back to September 2016 when Mondy submitted a petition for an initiated ordinance to reduce number of wards and city council members to be placed on the November general election ballot. The petition with the required number of signatures was approved.

Voters approved the initiated ordinance by an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote.

During its December meeting, the city council voted to repeal the ordinance with an emergency clause making the action to take effect immediately.

“The defendant's amended motion to dismiss is granted,” wrote Holmes. “The motion to disqualify council and the motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary inunction are denied as moot. The original motion to dismiss is denied as moot. The case is dismissed without prejudice.”

Holmes entered the order on court records on Aug. 25.