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NRC may dictate placement of pier

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A family that lives owns property on Bass Lake failed to show that the Natural Resources Commission’s decision that the family must move its pier to accommodate the placement of a group pier was arbitrary and capricious, or unsupported by evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Gunther and Carol Kranz own property on the lake that is subject to an easement by other landowners. The NRC determined that those easement holders had the right to place a group pier at the end of the easement. The Department of Natural Resources initially denied the permit for a pier over safety concerns. An administrative law judge determined the easement holders should be allowed to have the pier and that the Kranzes and another landowner should move their piers to accommodate the group pier.

Both the NRC and the trial court affirmed the administrative law judge’s decision.

On appeal, the court denied reversing the NRC’s decision in Gunther Kranz and Carol Kranz v. Meyers Subdivision Property Owners Association, Inc., Christopher Bartoszek, and Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources,
75A03-1112-PL-577. The Kranzes argued that the NRC lacked jurisdiction to determine property rights; that the decision was arbitrary and capricious because the NRC didn’t follow its own rule; that the decision wasn’t supported by substantial evidence; and the decision was an unconstitutional taking.

The NRC has jurisdiction to render a decision regarding property rights to the extent necessary to implement the permit process, wrote Judge Terry Crone. The NRC also properly interpreted and applied its rule, 312 Indiana Administrative Code 11-4-8(c)(1).

“Further, the evidence favorable to the decision is that the safety concerns were alleviated by moving the neighboring piers away from the Group Pier. Finally, we conclude that there was not an unconstitutional taking of the Kranzes’ property,” he wrote. “Because Bass Lake is a public freshwater lake, the only effect of the NRC’s decision on the Kranzes’ property rights was to relocate their pier, and there was no indication that the pier was any less usable in the location chosen by the NRC. The decision does not deprive the Kranzes’ property of all or substantially all of its economic or productive use and therefore is not an unconstitutional taking.”

 

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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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