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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“INDOT’s judgment as to necessity of appropriating this land for the I-69 Project cannot be questioned or superseded by the judgment of this court,” he wrote.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. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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