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Couple had to get permit before installing septic systems

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Rejecting a couple’s claim that a statute exempted them from having to get a permit before installing septic systems following the construction of their home in an unincorporated area of Allen County, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the health department on the matter.

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health learned Henry and Barb Wagler built their home – which is owned by their limited partnership – and installed two septic systems on the property without obtaining a construction permit. An attempt to resolve the matter administratively failed, so the health department filed a complaint against the couple and their LP for injunctive relief and damages. Both sides filed for summary judgment, with the Waglers claiming Indiana Code 36-7-8-3 exempts them from the permitting requirement.

The Waglers argued the “sanitation standards” mentioned in subsection (a) of the statute don’t apply to them because of subsection (d), which says the ordinance doesn’t apply when homes are built by individuals.

Septic systems are governed by Title 16 of Indiana Code and Title 410 of the Indiana Administrative Code, the judges pointed out, citing Washington County Health Department v. White, 878 N.E.2d 224 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007). Just like the Whites in that case, the Waglers are bound to comply with health code regulations found in Title 410, the appellate court held in Henry Wagler, Barb Wagler and Henry and Barb Wagler, LP v. Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, 02A03-1206-PL-269.

 

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