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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court has posted again today

Board of Directors of the Bass Lake Conservancy District v. Susan & John Brewer

(This is NOT the much-anticipated school fees decision.)

Justice Sullivan authors the 6-page opinion today. Some quotes:

The Bass Lake Conservancy District imposed a sewer rate higher than the standard resi-dential rate on the home of Susan and John Brewer because the house had two kitchens and two laundry areas. The Brewers contend they are entitled to pay the standard rate because theirs is a single residence. We find the higher rate to have been within the District’s authority and its im-position on the Brewers’ home was not arbitrary, capricious, nor otherwise contrary to law. * * *

As we have noted, the Bass Lake Board acted within its authority in classifying as duplex or multi-plex any residential structure with more than one living area and separate cooking facilities. There is no dispute that the Brewer residence contained more than one living area and separate cooking facilities. Because the Brewers’ home fits the District’s criteria for classification as du-plex or multiplex under its sewer rate Ordinance, it was neither arbitrary nor capricious for the Board to classify their residence as such. Further, the Brewers do not contend they were treated any differently than the other ten properties in the District containing more than one living area and separate cooking facilities. Each of these homes was also classified as duplex or multiplex and billed for its sewage disposal accordingly. * * *

The trial court’s decision granting the Brewers’ motion for summary judgment is re-versed. The trial court is directed to enter summary judgment in favor of the Bass Lake Board.

Shepard, C.J., and Boehm and Rucker, JJ., concur.
Dickson, J., dissents believing the decision of the Court of Appeals to be correct.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 29, 2005 12:37 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions