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Judge strikes Bloomington smoke-detector ordinance; similar measure pends in Indy

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A judge’s recent ruling that struck a Bloomington ordinance requiring hard-wired smoke detectors in rental properties comes as the Indianapolis City-County Council considers raising the requirements for all dwellings in Marion County.

Monroe Circuit Judge E. Michael Hoff ruled Feb. 10 that Bloomington’s ordinance was unenforceable because it conflicted with the state’s smoke-detector statute.

Indiana Code 22-11-18-3.5 states that all smoke detectors must be battery operated or hard-wired into the dwelling’s electrical system. “However, the City’s new smoke detector ordinance prohibits battery operated smoke detectors,” Hoff wrote. “For that reason, the City’s ordinance is not enforceable.”

Cohen & Malad P.C. attorney Michael McBride represented Bloomington landlords who opposed the ordinance that would have required the hard-wired devices installed by 2018.
He said Hoff’s ruling came exactly three years after Hoff voided another Bloomington ordinance requiring minimum window sizes, where McBride also represented property owners.

Hoff ruled the Bloomington smoke-detector ordinance could not be enforced without prior approval of the Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission.

“It’s commendable what they’re trying to do – they’re trying to save lives,” McBride said. “The question is what hoops do you have to jump through.  … Is it good to enact an ordinance, or is this something (cities) should push to the commission to change state law?”

Indianapolis’ proposed ordinance drafted in late 2013 would require all dwellings in Marion County to have smoke detectors with 10-year non-replaceable batteries or hard-wired devices by July. The ordinance since has been referred back to the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee.

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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