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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues one opinion today

In Pinnacle Properties Development Group, LLC v.City of Jeffersonville, Indiana, a 5-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Boehm writes:

The City of Jeffersonville provides sewer service under the general statute authorizing municipalities to provide this service. The City bills tenants directly for sewer service. We hold that the City may transfer a tenant’s delinquent balance to the property owner’s account without notice to the owner because the property owner is ultimately responsible for payment of sewer fees. * * *

We acknowledge that the City’s practice may inconvenience Pinnacle. By the time Pin-nacle learns of a tenant’s delinquency, it may be too late for Pinnacle to track down and collect from the tenant under the lease. But Pinnacle is not without means to address this risk of doing business. As permitted in the ordinance, Pinnacle could opt out of the City’s tenant billing pro-gram and bill tenants individually or include an average sewer charge in the rent amount. The ordinance also permits Pinnacle to examine the City’s collection records each month to deter-mine whether its tenants are current on their sewer bills. Pinnacle could also collect additional deposit money from its tenants to cover any delinquent fees.

Conclusion. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 17, 2008 01:11 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions