Thursday, May 29, 2014
Ind. Courts - AG Zoeller appeals high fence hunting ruling to the COA
Here are some quotes from AG Zoeller's news release, issued today:
INDIANAPOLIS – Seeking clarity from the courts, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday filed a legal brief in an appeal of a lawsuit over who may regulate deer in high-fenced hunting enclosures.The ILB has posted in the past both trial court rulings, from Harrison County and Owen Couty: they were summarized and linked at the end of this April 2nd post
As state government’s lawyer, the Attorney General’s Office represents the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in the appeal DNR et al. v. Whitetail Bluff LLC et al., filed in the Indiana Court of Appeals. The brief asks the appeals court reviewing a Harrison County trial court’s decision to find that the regulatory authority of the DNR applies both to publicly owned and privately owned wild animals, and find that the DNR can regulate a high-fenced hunting operation.
“Without a clear statute and with conflicting court rulings, additional clarity is needed from the appellate courts,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.
The State’s brief asks the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the Harrison County Circuit Court’s summary judgment ruling of September 27, 2013, and underscore that the DNR has legal authority to regulate the hunting of deer in privately owned high-fenced facilities. Two separate trial court rulings – one in Owen County and the other in Harrison County – contradict each other and the State seeks a consistent appellate opinion applicable statewide.
- Harrison County Judge Evans' 9/27/13, 2-page order and judgment that concludes:
The deer purchased by Whitetail Bluff and offspring thereof, are privately owned and are not the property of the people of the State of Indiana. Therefore the animals are not subject to regulation by DNR by virtue of the provisions of Indiana Code §14-22-1-1. DNR's actions seeking to regulate Whitetail Bluff's guided hunting activities constitute an improper exercise by an executive agency of the authority of the Indiana legislature contrary to Indiana Constitution Article 3, Section 1.
There are no issues of material fact. For the reasons stated herein, Whitetail Bluff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. This Court: grants Whitetail Bluff's motion for summary judgment; denies DNR's motion for summary judgment; enters this declaratory judgment; and, orders its preliminary injunction to be permanent.
- Owen County Judge Nardi's 11/29/12 2-page summary judgment.
Here is a copy of the State of Indiana's brief in DNR v. Whitetail Bluff, filed yesterday with the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 29, 2014 04:24 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts