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INDOT can take Ohio County property for road improvements

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that the Indiana Department of Transportation is entitled by law to acquire a portion of an Ohio County couple’s property to improve State Road 56.

In Nick Domaschko and Edwina Domaschko, and their Respective Trusts, et al. v. State of Indiana, 58A01-1206-PL-261, Nick and Edwina Domaschko challenged the trial court’s order of immediate appropriation and appointment of appraisers regarding certain portions of the 900 acres they own that INDOT sought for the road project. They claimed that some of the real estate INDOT sought to appropriate wasn’t related to highway purposes: a 50-foot buffer zone associated with the relocation of a creek and a portion of land associated with a shared driveway that straddles two properties.

The Domaschkos argued that INDOT doesn’t have the authority to acquire land to “plant trees or to maintain driveways unrelated to road construction.”  But INDOT presented evidence and testimony that it needed to relocate the creek, which requires installing a 50-foot buffer zone and includes the planting of trees along the relocated portions of the creek.  The buffer zone is required as part of the permitting process.

The Domaschkos also argued that the permanent acquisition of the land to be used as a shared driveway between them and the water company is unnecessary because the water company has another entrance.

“However, INDOT presented testimony explaining that the Domaschkos’ expert’s design was not viable and that a permanent right-of-way was necessary because ‘[t]he driveway is shared by two property owners, so according to Indiana design manual, we have to take permanent right-of-way. We cannot take temporary right-of way from one owner to build a drive . . . for another,’” Judge Michael Barnes wrote. “Thus, it is clear that the acquisition of this property is related to the improvement of State Road 56 and, therefore, INDOT is statutorily authorized to acquire the property for the driveway.”


 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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