Supreme Court grants emergency writ for dairy farm case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted an emergency writ filed by a rural Huntington County dairy farm accused of contaminating local waterways with manure from 1,400 cows.

An order issued Wednesday afternoon bars Huntington Circuit Judge Thomas Hakes from deciding on a preliminary injunction stopping the dairy owner, Johannes DeGroot, from spreading cow manure on nearby fields, until the state's high court can rule on a request for permanent writ of mandamus and prohibition. However, any previous orders issued by the judge remain in effect and he continues to have jurisdiction in the proceedings.

Additional briefing is needed in the case, according to the Supreme Court order. Any supplemental documents must be filed by Wednesday and, once that happens, the court will take the matter under advisement.

During arguments Wednesday in Huntington County, the state said the manure in the water was the latest in a string of 13 violations discovered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management - which has separately revoked the permit for DeGroot Dairy because of the violations spanning from September 2005 to April 11, 2007.

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