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Tax Court affirms rejection of fire protection district

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A faulty legal notice published to advertise a public hearing for the purpose of creating a fire protection district in northern Madison County was sufficient grounds for the state to deny creation of the district, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Friday.

Officials in Boone and Van Buren townships in Madison County met in 2010 in an effort to form the Summitville Fire Protection Territory to cover the town and part of the rural territory between Anderson and Marion. But in doing so, Van Buren Township’s published notice failed in several ways to meet the requirements set forth in I.C. § 36-8-19-6.

The Department of Local Government Finance denied creation of the district, and this appeal ensued in 2011. Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth noted attorneys for the townships and Summitville argued that the errant notice was published the same day and in the same newspaper where the other township’s notice appeared, and that a reasonable person would not have been misled by the defects in one township’s legal ad.

“Unfortunately for the Townships, the Court cannot determine whether there is any merit to their argument because the administrative record in this case is completely devoid of any evidence demonstrating that the two notices were in fact published on the same days in the same newspaper,” Wentworth wrote. “Accordingly, the Court cannot find the DLGF’s final determination was improper. The Townships’ request for relief is therefore denied.”

The case is Van Buren Township, Madison County, Boone Township, Madison County, The Summitville Fire Protection Territory v. Department of Local Government Finance, 49T10-1104-TA-27.
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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