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COA: Remonstrators didn't request timely stay of annexation

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of remonstrators’ challenge to annexation of land by the city of Evansville, finding the issue to be moot because the annexation has already been completed.

In In Re Petition in Opposition to Annexation Ordinance F-2008-15 v. The City of Evansville, No. 82A05-1102-PL-84, landowners challenged an adopted amended annexation ordinance by the city of Evansville that reduced the amount of territory contained in the original proposed annexation. Two months after the ordinance was published, the remonstrators sought declaratory relief.

The trial court dismissed the remonstrance and ruled in favor of the city on the declaratory judgment action, dismissed the remonstrators’ declaratory judgment action for lack of jurisdiction and entered final judgment for the city.

The annexation became effective when the clerk of the municipality complied with the filing requirements of Indiana Code 36-4-3-22(a); in this case, the annexation became effective Feb. 11, 2011. The remonstrators filed their notice of appeal on Feb. 18, 2011, but did not request a stay of the annexation before Feb. 11 or 18, but waited until April 4 to do so.

As a result, the Court of Appeals can’t grant the remonstrators any effective relief because they failed to request a stay or file a notice of appeal before the annexation became effective. The appellate court inferred based on previous cases that the Indiana Supreme Court recognized that challenges to a proposed annexation will become moot if the annexation becomes effective before a review of the matter can be completed, absent an injunction or stay on proceeding with the annexation pending appeal.

In order to preserve their challenge to the trial court’s order, the remonstrators should have requested a stay of the annexation following the Jan. 21, 2011, adverse ruling by the trial court. By not doing so, the issues they present on appeal are moot, wrote Judge Cale Bradford.

Even if the issues weren’t moot, the remonstrator’s claims would fail because they did not have the required minimum of landowners’ signatures on the remonstrance petition, and the remonstrators did not explain how their substantial rights were violated by alleged procedural defects by the city under I.C. 36-4-3-8.

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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