Plaintiffs in ward redistricting case file appeal

Plaintiffs challenging the inclusion of University of Southern Mississippi dormitory students in the redrawing of ward lines have appealed a federal judge's ruling in favor of the city of Hattiesburg.  

Plaintiffs' attorney Ellis Turnage filed a motion Thursday saying the appeal will be filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

In August, Federal Judge Keith Starrett ruled the city did not violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by counting dormitory students when it redrew the ward lines.

A group of Hattiesburg residents sued the city in 2006 claiming the city's redistricting plan diluted the strength of black voters by including more than 3,000 transient students living in dorms at USM.