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Commission OK to rule on territory dispute

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an order by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, finding the commission had the authority to hear a dispute between a town and a water company.

At issue in Town of Chandler, Indiana v. Indiana-American Water Co., and Town of Newburgh, Indiana, No. 93A02-0801-EX-00005, is Indiana Code Section 8-1-2-86.5, which defines when the commission may determine a territorial dispute within a 4-mile area regarding water utilities.

The town of Chandler owns and operates a water utility for the delivery of water within and around the corporate limits of the town. The town adopted an ordinance that stated it would be the only provider of water within the 4-mile area surrounding the town. Indiana-American Water Co. filed a complaint with the regulatory commission, requesting that it determine the unincorporated areas in the 4-mile area surrounding the town were open competition for water customers.

There was also a dispute involving the town of Newburgh, because it passed a similar ordinance and some of its 4-mile area overlapped with the surrounding Chandler area.

The commission issued an order denying Chandler's second motion to dismiss the complaint and granted Indiana-American's requested relief and ruled that Indiana-American could provide water service to a prospective customer within the 4-mile area, regardless of Chandler's ordinance.

The Court of Appeals examined the construction of I.C. Section 8-1-2-86.5 to determine whether the commission had the authority to determine a territorial dispute. Chandler argued that the commission can't determine a territorial dispute because the statute only applies to the municipalities that meet the conditions of subsections (c)(1) and (c)(2), and since Newburgh doesn't meet those conditions, the commission can't settle the dispute.

The Court of Appeals disagreed with Chandler's arguments, finding the plain reading of the statute leads the court to conclude the exception to the exception, which allows the commission to determine disputes between two municipalities located within the same 4-mile area, applies whenever the territorial dispute concerns an area located within more than one 4-mile area of any municipality, wrote Judge Paul Mathias.

The appellate court also found the commission's treatment of Chandler didn't violate Article I, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution because a municipal corporation isn't a citizen of Indiana and the section is inapplicable to its case.

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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