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Homeowners' association can enforce ban on child day care

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision that would allow two homeowners to run a child care operation out of their residences. The homeowners’ association has restrictive covenants in place prohibiting the operation of a child care home.

In Benjamin Crossing Homeowners' Association, Inc. v. Rose Heide and David F. Wilkerson, No. 79A04-1103-PL-185, Rose Heide and David Wilkerson, residents of Benjamin Crossing, sought damages and a declaratory judgment that the Tippecanoe Area Building Commission and the Benjamin Crossing Homeowners’ Association couldn’t enforce a restrictive covenant preventing the operation of a child care home in their residence. The restrictive covenant was also incorporated into the planned unit development ordinance for Benjamin Crossing, but state law prohibits enforcement of a zoning ordinance that prohibits the operation of a child care home in a residence.

The trial court ruled in favor of the homeowners, but the Court of Appeals reversed. It found the trial court erred when it concluded that “restrictive covenants of a planned unit development have the status of a zoning ordinance” and that, because a zoning ordinance may not prohibit the operation of a child care home in the operator’s residence, neither may such a restrictive covenant be enforced where the restrictive covenant has been adopted in a planned unit development ordinance.

The planned unit development ordinance has no effect on the homeowners’ association’s authority to enforce the private restrictive covenants at issue, wrote Judge Edward Najam.

“The prohibition against a zoning ordinance barring the operation of a child care home in a residence is directed to the municipality and renders any such ordinance unenforceable by the municipality. On the other hand, the restrictive covenants in the Declaration set out the mutual obligations and rights of property owners to each other,” he wrote. “Those restrictive covenants are enforceable by the private parties to the Declaration and were not vitiated by the adoption of the planned unit development ordinance that included them.”

 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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