Plaintiff owned and operated certain water and sewer facilities in the City of Fort Wayne. The facilities were divided into two separate geographic areas - the North System and the Aboite System. In 2002 the City passed a resolution appropriating and condemning the North System. The City assessed damages in the amount of $14,759,500. Plaintiff challenged the condemnation proceedings alleging that the City failed to follow the proper eminent domain or condemnation statutes. The trial court granted summary judgment for the City, and the Supreme Court affirmed. The City subsequently reaffirmed its initial resolution appropriating and condemning Plaintiff's North System and adopted a resolution assessing damages in the amount of $16,910,5000. Plaintiff appealed the decision to the trial court and requested a trial by jury. The trial court refused the trial request and granted the City's motion for partial judgment on the pleadings. The Supreme Court reversed, concluding that Plaintiff had a right to the trial court's review of the record which included a full evidentiary hearing before a jury. View "Util. Ctr., Inc. v. City of Fort Wayne" on Justia Law
Posted in: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Government & Administrative Law, Indiana Supreme Court, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
Petitioner appealed a Marshall County Drainage Board order assessing him a portion of a drain-reconstruction project's costs, contending that he received no benefit from the project because his land was adequately drained before the reconstruction. The Supreme Court affirmed the assessment because under Indiana law, holding (1) Indiana law allows a drainage board to assess a benefit to a tract of land based solely on the fact that surface water from that land flows into the regulated drain for which the assessment is levied; and (2) as a result, the trial court's order - which found that the Board's decision to attribute a benefit to Petitioner on this bases was not arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful, and was supported by substantial evidence - was not erroneous. View "Crowel v. Marshall County Drainage Bd." on Justia Law
Posted in: Environmental Law, Government & Administrative Law, Indiana Supreme Court, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
Steven and Lauren Siwinski, homeowners in the town of Ogden Dunes, rented their home despite receiving a cease and desist letter advising them that that rentals were prohibited by the town zoning ordinances. The town filed suit against the Siwinskis for violating town ordinances. Both parties moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the town's motion for summary judgment and injunctive relief. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the town in the amount of $40,000. The court of appeals reversed and remanded with instructions that the trial court enter summary judgment in favor of the Siwinskis. On transfer, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's granting of summary judgment in favor of the town, holding that the Siwinskis impermissibly rented their dwelling in violation of the town's ordinances. The Court then held that the fine for violating this ordinance should not have exceeded $32,500. Remanded.
Posted in: Indiana Supreme Court, Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate & Property Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use