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Judges: Couple lacked standing to challenge road closure

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The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court properly dismissed a couple’s complaint over the closure of an access road into a cemetery where their daughter is buried.

In Lewis J. Richardson and Laurel Richardson v. Board of Commissioners of Owen County, No. 60A01-1106-PL-228, Lewis and Laurel Richardson sought to prevent the Owen County Board of Commissioners from granting Junior Sips’ request to vacate a portion of a roadway on his property that had allowed access to the cemetery where the Richardsons’ daughter is buried and where they own several plots. The road used to be maintained by the county, but hadn’t been maintained since the 1950s. Sips installed a gate along his property line, which abutted the cemetery land.

The Richardsons asked that the gate be removed and the road be repaired so that it could be used again. The county commissioners passed the ordinance allowing the portion of the road to be vacated. The Richardsons then filed a complaint in court to set aside the ordinance. The trial court determined that the Richardsons are not aggrieved persons under the statute and not eligible to appeal.

The COA affirmed, finding the Richardsons lacked standing because they do not own land abutting the cemetery and failed to show that they’ve sustained an injury that is unique or special to them. They did not use the road in question to access the cemetery, and other roads provide access to the land. The general public’s ability to visit the cemetery is not hindered by the gate anymore than it has been for the last five decades, or more, wrote Judge John Baker.

 

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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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