For the second time in less than a month, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the state’s taking of property in southwestern Indiana for construction of Interstate-69.
William and Janice Boyd challenged the state’s eminent domain proceedings taking portions of real estate in Greene County owned by the Boyds. The Boyds objected, claiming the state violated various federal laws, the state’s offer to purchase was deficient, and the state sought to acquire more property than necessary.
The trial court struck the objections, condemned the property and appointed appraisers to determine the amount of just compensation to the Boyds.
In an eight-page decision authored by Senior Judge Randall Shepard in William A. Boyd and Janice Ann Boyd v. State of Indiana, 28A01-1203-PL-108, the judges quickly dismissed the Boyds’ objections. The couple argued that the interstate construction doesn’t comply with federal environmental statutes, but that challenge is to the legality of the project, not the legality of the taking. Property owners in Greene County recently made a similar objection in their appeal of the taking of their land for the interstate, and another appellate panel ruled just as the instant court has.
The judges ruled that the Boyds’ claim pertaining to the purchase offer being deficient is settled by Burd Mgmt. LLC v. State, 831 N.E.2d 104, 109 (Ind. 2005). While the Indiana Department of Transportation is required to make an offer, it is not required to prove that it did so, as the Boyds’ argued, Shepard wrote.
The COA also ruled that the Boyds’ claim that the state does not need the amount of land condemned for the I-69 project is not a proper subject for judicial review.