ILNews

Justices take environmental, land rights appeals

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The Indiana Supreme Court accepted two civil cases last week on transfer, in addition to the two-high profile appeals involving legislative fines against lawmakers and Secretary of State Charlie White.

A transfer disposition list from the Indiana Appellate Clerk’s Office shows the justices denied 24 cases last week and accepted four. The justices granted transfer in Tim Berry, et al. v. William Crawford, et al., No. 49S02-1202-PL-76, involving the fines imposed against multiple state representatives who were part of a legislative walkout. The Supreme Court also took the consolidated case of Charlie White, et al. v. Indiana Democratic Party, No. 49S02-1202-MI-73, involving a Marion County judge’s decision finding the state’s top election official ineligible to hold office.

The other two cases the justices accepted were Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp., et al. v. Save the Valley, et al., No. 49S02-1202-MI-72, and Thomas R. Crowel v. Marshal County Drainage Board, No. 50S03-1202-MI-71.

In IKEC v. Save the Valley, the justices took a case that the Court of Appeals ruled on in August 2011 for the second time, after an initial ruling in 2005. The appellate panel found it had already ruled on an associational standing question, and as a result it denied the electric utility's attempt to relitigate that issue based on the law-of-the-case doctrine. The case involves environmental concerns about IKEC’s solid waste permit to operate a coal-fired electric generation station in Jefferson County.

In Crowel, the appellate court issued a 2-1 decision in August on a case about whether a man whose land sits higher and is not prone to flooding should have to pay for the reconstruction of an arm of a nearby drainage ditch. The trial court found the county drainage board’s decision that Crowel should contribute to the cost of the project was not arbitrary, capricious or unlawful, and it was supported by substantial evidence. Judges Paul Mathias and James Kirsch reversed based on a 1950 ruling from the state Supreme Court that found a surveyor must first consider that higher land matter and how it applies to natural drainage. Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented, finding that Crowel’s land would benefit by reconstructing the drain, and she wrote that the holding could lead to “water wars” between neighbors.

 

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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