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Justices affirm dismissal of Logansport power plant suit

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Local units of government may engage in preliminary talks or solicit prospective public-private partners before those units of government have adopted legislation enabling such agreements, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a challenge to Logansport’s efforts to overhaul a coal-burning power plant.

“In this case we address whether Indiana’s Public-Private Agreements statute requires a local legislative body to first adopt the statute before it may issue a request for proposals or begin contract negotiations as provided for under the statute. We hold it does not,” Justice Robert Rucker wrote for the court in Julie Kitchell v. Ted Franklin, as the Mayor of the City of Logansport, and the Common Council of the City of Logansport, 09S00-1307-PL-476.

Kitchell sued the city of Logansport over plans to convert a coal-burning plant to one that would generate electricity by burning refuse. The trial court dismissed her claim that sought to invalidate a city ordinance, arguing that before the city could issue an RPF for a public-private agreement, it was required to have an ordinance in place allowing such agreements.

But justices noted that the city had reached no agreements prior to adopting enabling legislation. Referring to I.C. 5-23-5-2, -5, -9, Rucker wrote, “nowhere does the Act require a political subdivision to ‘adopt’ the Act before taking any further action consistent with the Act.”

Justices rejected the city’s request that Kitchell pay attorney fees.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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