Court rules on annexation, land dispute

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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A county was able to establish an economic development area in unincorporated land that was also in the process of being annexed by a town because the annexation process hadn't been completed yet, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court.

When the Boone County Redevelopment Commission (RDC) initiated proceedings to create an economic development area (EDA), the area included land on which Whitestown had initiated annexation proceedings just one week earlier in July 2006. In October 2006, the Boone County Board of Commissioners approved the establishment of the EDA.

A trial court held pursuant to Indiana's economic development statutes, the RDC had the authority and jurisdiction to establish the EDA; the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court. The appellate court held the county's authority to create the EDA was precluded by the town's initiation of annexation proceedings.

The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday affirmed the decision of the trial court in Brenwick Associates LLC and Town of Whitestown, Indiana v. Boone County Redevelopment Commission and the Board of Commissioners of Boone County, Indiana, No. 06S04-0712-CV-573.

The issue in this case is whether the fact Whitestown started annexation proceedings by introducing an annexation ordinance at the town council meeting precluded Boone County from creating the EDA.

In order to resolve the issue, the high court examined the economic development statutes in Indiana Code Sections 36-7-14-1 to -48. A conflict that can occur under these statutes is when a municipality with a commission decides to annex territory located in a county redevelopment area. At the point in time that annexation is complete, the land in the county redevelopment district is included in the municipality's redevelopment district, which is happening in the instant case.

The Boone County RDC doesn't include any territory in Whitestown because the town has its own redevelopment commission.

"However, when the RDC started establishing the disputed EDA that included the unincorporated 1,425 acres, Whitestown had not completed annexation over any part of this territory; the territory area was not within its corporate boundaries and, therefore, not within its redevelopment district," wrote Justice Frank Sullivan.

Under Indiana Code Sections 36-7-14-3(b) and 41, the RDC had the authority to establish the EDA in the disputed territory until Whitestown had completed its annexation of the disputed territory.

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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues