Eminent Domain

Indianapolis officials, landowner lock horns over Brightwood library branch plan

April 5, 2017
Dave Stafford
Thousands each day drive past a sign on Sherman Avenue near 25th Street in Indianapolis bearing an unequivocal statement of Sheena Schmidt’s sentiments and an irritant for some city officials — a billboard-like placard that reads, “Say no to eminent domain.”
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Judges affirm county commissioners can sue attorney for legal malpractice

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court did not err in denying an attorney’s motion to dismiss a legal malpractice claim brought against him by Clark County’s Board of Commissioners and Aviation Board, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Supreme Court takes eminent domain case to clean up confusion

September 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Confusion from “inartful language” will put the ongoing dispute over the Clark County airport expansion before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices rule in favor of sewer facility operator in condemnation action

April 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving a compensation award for condemnation initiated by Fort Wayne’s Board of Public Works that may appear at first blush as a “no brainer” is actually not as simple as it seems, the Indiana Supreme Court pointed out Thursday.
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Judges rule against commissioners in eminent domain dispute

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the use of eminent domain to acquire land to expand the runway at the Clark County Airport, the Indiana Court of Appeals encouraged lawyers and the courts to stop using the phrase “jurisdiction over a particular case” when the term “legal error” should be used.
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Court rules in favor of state in taking of property for I-69

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
For the second time in less than a month, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the state’s taking of property in southwestern Indiana for construction of Interstate-69.
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State may take Greene County property for I-69 project

September 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The state may take property in Greene County over the objections of the owners for construction of a portion of Interstate 69, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA addresses inverse condemnation issues

August 20, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
Inverse condemnation was the issue of the day for two Indiana Court of Appeals panels, with one case raising issues regarding fraudulent concealment and the statute of limitations.
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COA decides eminent domain case

April 14, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In considering a common arrangement between a utility company and property developer, the Indiana Court of Appeals has given a green light for that utility to exercise eminent domain when a developer is financing a sewer line extension to a proposed housing development.
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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