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Justices take dispute over county road

June 15, 2015

The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a not-for-publication Court of Appeals decision over whether a gravel drive to a landlocked 40 rural acres in Jackson County is a public road by use.

Justices will review Timothy McNamara, Tamara Goodfellow, and Teresa Melton v. Zollman Farms, Inc., Testamentary Trust of Jack D. Roller, and Thomas Michael Carr (NFP), 36A05-1404-PL-180. The trial court ruled that a road leading to the McNamara property totally surrounded by Zollman Farms was not a public road. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the McNamaras’ long use of the road and relevant caselaw established existence of a public road by use.

The McNamara case was the lone appeal justices took up last week.

Among cases denied transfer, justices rejected a woman’s appeal of attorney fees she was ordered to pay after unsuccessfully suing the city of City of Logansport. Denial of transfer in Julie Kitchell v. Ted Franklin, as the Mayor of the City of Logansport, and The Common Council of the City of Logansport, 09A02-1405-PL-369, let stand attorney fees Julie Kitchell must pay to the city.

The Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling that her suit was frivolous and in bad faith. Kitchell sued the city claiming that the city could not enter a public-private partnership without first formally adopting an ordinance.

Supreme Court transfer dispositions may be viewed here.

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