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County surveyor not entitled to additional compensation, rules court

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has denied the Gibson County surveyor’s claims that under statute, he is entitled to a higher salary and additional compensation for referencing corners in the county.

Michael W. Stevenson took office in 2005 when he was not a licensed surveyor, but obtained his license in June of that year. The prior surveyor had been licensed. Stevenson’s initial salary was $36,170.

In 2006, he sought a pay increase of 1.5 times what he currently made since he was now licensed, based on I.C. 36-2-12-15(b). This statute requires a licensed surveyor be paid 1.5 times the amount of an unlicensed surveyor. The county council instead added a note to the budget indicating the salary for an unlicensed surveyor would be 1.5 times less than what Stevenson made. Stevenson made this request each budget year through 2012, and was denied each time.

In 2009, he sought additional compensation for referencing all 1,959 corners in Gibson County. Statute says the surveyor receives $4 per corner referenced. This compensation was also denied, leading to the current lawsuit.

In Michael W. Stevenson v. County Commissioners of Gibson County, Indiana, Bob Townsend, Don Whitehead, Gerald Bledsoe, County Council of Gibson County, Indiana, Tony Wolfe, Jeremy Overton, et al., 26A01-1212-PL-540, the Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s decision, which held the council met its statutory obligations by establishing the lower salary for the unlicensed surveyor instead of increasing Stevenson’s salary.

There was also no error in finding he is not entitled to $35,580 in additional compensation for seven years of unpaid corner references he allegedly completed. The COA rejected his claims that to receive compensation he is required to only “have a book of records” and “sit there and draw the money.”

The statute requires the surveyor check and reference at least 5 percent of all corners in the county each year, meaning perform a physical inspection and note the condition of the monument and references in order to be compensated.
 

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  • 1.5 times less???
    Wouldn't a salary that is 1.5 less than the current licensed surveyor's salary mean an unlicensed surveyor would be paying the county $18,085 per year for the privilege of working!

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  1. Welcome to Hendricks County where local and state statutes (especially Indiana Class C misdemeanors) are given a higher consideration than Federal statues and active duty military call-ups.

  2. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  3. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  4. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  5. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

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