ILNews

COA reverses annexation decision

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision in a northern Indiana annexation case, citing a recent ruling on the subject from the Indiana Supreme Court.

In the case In the Matter of the Annexation Proposed by Ordinance No. 2004-11-38, et al. v. Chris Fetcko, et al., 45A03-0611-CV-549, the city of Crown Point appealed the trial court's order granting the motion for involuntary dismissal filed by Fetcko and other remonstrators to a city ordinance annexing certain land.

Crown Point adopted a fiscal plan for annexing real estate known as Liberty Park, Abandoned Railroad, and American Legion. In April 2005, the city annexed Liberty Park. When the trial court held a hearing on the petition filed by the remonstrators against the annexation, the trial court granted the remonstrators motion for involuntary dismissal pursuant to trial rule 41(B). The trial court ruled that the city did not meet the requirements under Indiana Code 36-4-3-13(d)(2), which states a fiscal plan must show how planned services to the area annexed will be financed and "must explain how specific and detailed expenses will be funded and must indicate the taxes, grants, and other funding to be used." The city's plan showed there would be a five-year deficit in providing services to the annexed territory, but any shortfalls would be made up from the city's general fund.

The city appealed, arguing that the way the trial court interpreted Indiana Code section 36-4-3-13(d)(2) would require "an annexing municipality to include information in its fiscal plan beyond the scope required by the legislature in its statute."

The Court of Appeals, using the recent Supreme Court decision in City of Carmel v. Annexation Terr. Landowners, 868 N.E.2d 793, 797 (Ind. 2007), reversed the trial court ruling. Just like the fiscal plan in the City of Carmel case, Crown Point's plan demonstrated that revenue from the annexation territory will be a significant source of revenue for funding services to the annexed territory and the initial deficit from annexation will be covered by the city's general fund.

Following the guidance from the Supreme Court in City of Carmel, the Court of Appeals ruled Crown Point's plan is sufficiently specific regarding funding sources and reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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