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Delayed ordinance publication doesn’t affect power to annex

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Landowners challenging the annexation of portions of land in Hamilton County to the city of Westfield lost their appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals. The remonstrators claimed the city’s delayed publication of annexation ordinances should have barred the annexation.

The city passed ordinances to annex certain parcels of land in Washington Township, Hamilton County in September 2008. But Westfield didn’t publish the ordinances in the local newspaper until Dec. 6, 2008 – 71 days after the mayor signed the ordinances.

The remonstrators claimed this should bar annexation because the city didn’t publish the ordinances within the 30-day period outlined in Indiana Code 36-4-3-7(a). Westfield argued that the remonstrators lacked standing to challenge the annexation.

Hamilton Superior Judge William Hughes found the remonstrators had standing, but ruled in favor of the city on annexation.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the remonstrators that the city conflated the requirements for a remonstrance petition with those at a remonstrance hearing. Statute holds that standing is established at the trial court’s certification of the remonstrance petition.

“Once certified, whether the required number of remonstrators ‘continued to oppose the annexation’ is simply a matter to be proved at the evidentiary hearing,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote in Certain Westfield Southeast Area 1 Annexation Territory Landowners and Certain Westfield Southeast Area 2 Territory Landowners v. City of Westfield, 29A02-1205-MI-389.

The judges rejected the remonstrators’ claim the delay in publishing the ordinances should bar annexation because they failed to show that the city committed a procedural wrong so severe that their substantial rights have been affected. The failure to publish does not affect the power to annex; it merely renders the ordinance inoperative until publication is made, Riley wrote.

“Thus, rather than becoming void, the Ordinances at issue here simply went into effect at a later date. Further, the record shows that belated publication did not impair the Remonstrators’ substantial rights since Remonstrators’ request to the City for evidence of publication of the Ordinances prompted the City to publish them,” she wrote.

 

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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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