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Justices decline state’s appeal in I-69 land taking case

June 5, 2018

A Monroe County property owner whose road access to former State Road 37 is being cut off by its conversion to Interstate 69 will receive a trial on damages after a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s appeal in a condemnation case.

The court last week rejected the petition to transfer Coutar Remainder I, LLC v. State of Indiana, 53A01-1704-PL-798.  Coutar holds title to land at the intersection of Wayport Road and State Road 37 near Bloomington and claims the state’s taking of the property shutting off direct access to the road will result in $1.3 million in damages, as well as the closure of a gas station and convenience store on the property.

While the Monroe Circuit Court ruled the state’s condemnation of the property was not a taking because it only created a different line of travel to the property, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed. The appellate panel found that the property owners were entitled to a trial on damages because they would no longer have direct access to the road that the state had previously granted.

The Indiana Supreme Court voted 3-2 to let the COA opinion stand. Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Justice Christopher Goff would have granted transfer to the state on the appeal.

Justices granted no transfer petitions for the week ending June 1. Transfer decisions may be viewed here.

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