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Justices to review whether sewer lien can trigger tax sale

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The Indiana Supreme Court will review the question of whether a sewer lien placed on a property for unpaid bills is by itself sufficient for the property to be sold at tax sale to satisfy the debt.

Justices agreed to review the question when they granted transfer in In Re: The Carroll County 2012 Tax Sale Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District v. Steven E. Hruska, Virginia Hanna, and Equity Trust Company FBO #80677 and Carroll County, Indiana, by and through the Caroll County Auditor, 08S02-1402-MI-78.

Carroll Circuit Court ruled in favor of Steven Hruska and Virginia Hanna and removed their properties from a county tax sale list. Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District appealed, arguing that the trial court misread I.C. 13-26-14-4, but the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the trial court ruling. The COA held the sewer district could sue to collect on the late fees but lacked authority to seek a county tax sale.

The statute explicitly says, “A lien under this chapter that is the only lien on a property may not be foreclosed.” The Court of Appeals opinion observed in a footnote, however, that the Indiana Regional Sewer District Association filed an amicus brief in the case arguing the “misinterpretation of Ind. Code § 13-26-14-4 by the trial court and its application to all collection processes ... is of paramount importance and will affect all sewer districts’ ability to collect unpaid sewer bills.”

The case is one of eight granted transfer by the Indiana Supreme Court for the week ending Feb. 7. The others are:


Justices rejected transfer petitions in 27 cases. The transfer disposition list may be viewed here.




 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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