Justices to hear ordinance dispute involving barred IU frat house

Indiana Supreme Court justices will consider argument in an ordinance dispute between a southern Indiana property owner and the city of Bloomington over a former Indiana University fraternity house when it resumes virtual oral arguments this month.

The court will hear virtual arguments on petition to transfer at 9 a.m. Sept. 24 in City of Bloomington Bd. of Zoning Appeals v. UJ-Eighty Corp., 19A-PL-00457.

In that case, the city of Bloomington issued notices of zoning violations to UJ-Eighty, the owner of occupied property that once had been used as a fraternity house before Indiana University withdrew its recognition of the fraternity. The Bloomington Board of Zoning Appeals upheld the notices, but the Monroe Circuit Court entered judgment for UJ-Eighty, vacating the notices and finding that the ordinance on which they were based unconstitutionally delegated zoning authority to IU to determine what constitutes a fraternity house.

A divided Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in January, striking down the local Bloomington ordinance that deferred to IU in regulating fraternities and sororities. A majority of the appellate panel agreed that the city improperly delegated authority to IU, but a dissenting judge argued that UJ-Eighty did not meet the “heavy burden” of demonstrating there is “no set of circumstances under which the [law] can be constitutionally applied.”

Additionally, the dissenting judge disagreed with the majority’s conclusion that the city delegated power to the university.

Also on Sept. 24, the justices will hear arguments on petition to transfer in Jane Doe 1, Legal Guardian of Jane Doe 2 v. Carmel Operator, LLC, et al., 19A-CT-2191. In March, the Court of Appeals affirmed compelled arbitration in that case, which involves sexual abuse at an assisted living facility.

That case will be heard virtually at 10 a.m.

The arguments can be watched on the court’s website.

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