The village officials did not contest these allegations, but instead challenged the dissolution statute as contrary to the home rule provisions of the Ohio Constitution . Judge David Cain upheld the constitutionality of the statute and granted summary judgment to the State of Ohio on July 30, 2004. In his decision, Cain held that as a result of town officials' malfeasance and nonfeasance, New Rome had effectively dissolved itself. "When the electorate allows key offices to go vacant for unreasonable amounts of time and allows other conditions ... to cause ruin and decay," Cain wrote, "it can easily be inferred that this small group of local citizens has abandoned any right it had to operate a local government unit. The corporate powers have already been surrendered. The body is already dead. The statute merely provides for a decent burial." Judge Cain granted the order to formally dissolve New Rome on August 9, 2004, and also ordered the clearing of all unpaid traffic tickets and all drivers licenses suspended by the village. No appeal was filed by the September 9 deadline, and on that date New Rome was irrevocably absorbed into Prairie Township.