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State may take Greene County property for I-69 project

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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.

Michael Patrick Knott and Andrew John Knott appealed the trial court issuance of an order of appropriation and appointment of appraisers regarding 11.236 of the 45 acres they owned in Greene County. The state filed the complaint in eminent domain proceedings to obtain the portion of the Knotts’ land.

The Knotts objected, claiming the state and the Indiana Department of Transportation acted illegally and in bad faith because the I-69 project is proceeding in violation of certain federal laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act. The state’s complaint originally contained a scrivener’s error, but it was corrected to include the Knotts’ parcel.

Greene Circuit Judge Erik C. Allen entered an order striking the Knotts’ objections and entered the order of appropriation.

Indiana’s eminent domain laws do not require the state to comply with the federal statutes cited by the Knotts in their objection prior to appropriating private property for public purpose, Judge James Kirsch wrote in Michael Patrick Knott and Andrew John Knott v. State of Indiana, 28A04-1203-PL-122.

Indiana Code 32-24-1-5.8 recognizes INDOT’s authority to acquire a parcel of land or property right for the construction of a state highway or toll road project. INDOT has the authority to acquire private or public property for limited access facilities and service roads based on I.C. 8-23-8-3. In addition, the federal statutes the Knotts cited in their objections don’t concern the acquisition of property but are related to collateral issues concerning the interstate project.

“INDOT’s judgment as to necessity of appropriating this land for the I-69 Project cannot be questioned or superseded by the judgment of this court,” he wrote. “While we affirm the State’s authority to take the Knotts’ property, we regret the hardship that this condemnation may cause the Knotts, notwithstanding the payment of just compensation.”



 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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