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Opinion affirms New Albany has zoning jurisdiction over fringe area of county

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In a dispute between the city of New Albany and Floyd County concerning which entity has zoning jurisdiction over an unincorporated area outside city limits, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the city.

In Floyd County and Floyd County Plan Commission v. City of New Albany and New Albany City Plan Commission, 22A05-1303-MI-139, the county and city sought declaratory judgment on the issue. The Court of Appeals had to decide whether I.C. 36-7-4-205(e) or (f) applied. The city contends that subsection (f) applies in this situation because Floyd County has fewer than 95,000 residents as shown by the 2010 census and the city has elected to exercise jurisdiction in the fringe area and has given notice to the county. The county contends that subsection (e) applies because the county has now adopted a comprehensive plan and an ordinance to terminate the city’s jurisdiction over the fringe area.

New Albany had been providing sanitary sewer services to the fringe area since the 1970s. It also provided building code and enforcement services in the designated area. The county argued that the city wasn’t providing multiple municipal services as required by statute.

“We can say, though, that the legislature has set a minimum standard for the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction by requiring a city to provide 'municipal services,' plural. But it has not set a specific standard by requiring the provision of all or of certain municipal services. The County asks this court to set a standard beyond that clearly set in the statute itself, and that is a job reserved to the legislature,” Judge Margret Robb wrote.

“The City has been providing sanitary sewer services in the fringe area for decades. That is clearly the largest and most substantial of the services provided to the fringe area by the City, but the evidence in the record and considered by the trial court shows that the City is also providing building code inspection and enforcement services.

“The County asserts that by adding the requirement that a city provide municipal services, the legislature’s intent was to ensure that a municipality has a stake in the fringe area over which it purports to exercise jurisdiction. The provision of sanitary sewer services in this case accomplishes that intent because it is, as the trial court noted, not insignificant due to the capital investment the City has made in offering those services outside its municipal boundaries. We conclude the City meets the requirements of section 36-7-4-205(f) for exercising jurisdiction over the fringe area.”
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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