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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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