Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush has approved a Vanderburgh Superior judge’s request that an en banc hearing be held regarding an ordinance passed last year that says a person appointed to a board serving the city of Evansville must live in the city.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, on advice of legal counsel, vetoed Ordinance G-2014-30 on Jan. 5, believing it violated state law and the Home Rule Act. But the Common Commission overrode the veto. The mayor is challenging the ordinance because he wants to appoint certain people to a board that are non-city residents as authorized by state statutes. Winnecke believes the residency ordinance violates the separation of powers of the city as established by the General Assembly under I.C. 36-4-4-1, et. seq.; the Home Rule Act; and the mayor’s appointment powers under I.C. 36-4-5-4 and 36-4-11-2.
Based on state law, a judicial determination may be made by a court sitting en banc when a dispute arises concerning city municipal powers.
An en banc hearing is scheduled for April 23, and Vanderburgh Superior Judge Leslie C. Shively asked the Supreme Court to allow broadcasting of the hearing. Rush signed off on the hearing in an April 9 order. The parties and all participating members of the court consent to the broadcast of the hearing which will only involve the legal arguments of attorneys. The proceeding will be broadcast by WNIN on the local channel dedicated for the city council chambers, according to an entry in the case management system.
Judge Lloyd recused herself as a member of the en banc panel and Senior Judge Carl Heldt Sr. has been appointed as a special judge to fill her vacancy.
The case is In re City of Evansville, 82D01-1501-PL-509.