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COA affirms order Amish connect to sewer system

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court’s decision to deny setting aside agreements several members of the Old Order Amish near Loogootee made to connect to a sewer system and the order that a couple hook up to the system.

West Boggs, a not-for-profit utility, sent notices to Terry and Laura Wagler, Larry and Jennifer Wagler, Norman Wagler, and Janet and Nathan Wagler ordering them to connect to the sewer system by a specific deadline pursuant to Indiana Code 8-1-2-125. The Waglers all hired the same attorney, Marilyn A. Hartman, who worked with Terry and Laura Wagler, Norman Wagler, and Larry and Jennifer Wagler to enter into agreements with the utility to hook up to the system.

But they never hooked up to the system, so West Boggs filed verified motions for rule to show cause. Around this time, Hartman stopped representing the Waglers and Dale W. Arnett became their attorney. The Waglers sought to have the agreements set aside under Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) and claimed that their religious beliefs should prevent them from having to hook up to the system. Larry Wagler testified that he felt like he “had a gun to (his) head” to enter into the agreement.

The trial court denied their motions and also ordered Janet and Nathan Wagler to connect to the system. The Waglers do not belong to the Old Order Amish, according to court records.

The Waglers and West Boggs appealed; West Boggs sought trial attorney fees, which were denied, and appellate attorney fees.

In Terry and Laura Wagler, Larry and Jennifer Wagler, Norman Wagler, and Janet and Nathan Wagler v. West Boggs Sewer District Inc., 14A01-1109-PL-427, the Court of Appeals found many of the Waglers’ arguments weren’t cogent and that they didn’t prove that certain contract doctrines that they argued were applicable actually applied. The Waglers were aware of the requirements of the agreed judgments when they signed them, and the judgments were negotiated by their attorney, Judge Elaine Brown wrote.

Janet and Nathan Wagler argued that I.C. 8-1-2-125(d) allowed them the option to connect, but the judges found that statute only gives the utility the discretion as to whether to require someone to connect. Upon that request, the property owner is required to comply with the utility’s directive, as long as certain requirements are met, which were in this case.

Finally, the court affirmed the denial of attorney fees and the request for appellate attorney fees by West Boggs, finding the Waglers did not litigate or appeal in bad faith.

 

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  1. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  2. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  3. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  4. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

  5. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

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