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Supreme Court rules landowner must pay county drainage assessment

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A Marshall County landowner will have to pay a drainage assessment on a county-maintained ditch, even though he said his property derives little benefit from the drainage system for which he’s ordered to pay a share.

The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a Marshall Circuit Court decision that upheld the county drainage board’s assessment of $7,055.41 on 26 acres that Thomas R. Crowell owns near the northern Indiana city of Plymouth.

“We affirm the assessment because under Indiana law, all landowners whose surface water flows into a drain receive a benefit by virtue of that drainage,” Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. wrote in a unanimous opinion. 

Crowel argued that his property was not in the watershed drained by the maintenance project in question, but the justices said “the extent to which property is benefited is a question of fact to be decided by the (drainage) board in the first instance,” and that the burden of proof is on landowners to prove they are not benefited by a drainage project.

“Because Crowel did not seek de novo review in the trial court under [I.C. § 36-9-27-107(a)] the board’s decision is conclusive and not susceptible to attack on appeal,” Sullivan wrote.

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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