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Monday, September 21, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Sellersburg ordinance changed after resident lawsuit"

Elizabeth Beilman reports today in the New Albany News & Tribune. Some quotes:

The Sellersburg Town Council amended a 20-year-old ordinance in response to a lawsuit from a resident claiming a town official violated his Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.

The ordinance’s chapter on nuisances states that town employees “shall be permitted, upon a five-day notice given to the person in possession of the real estate, to enter into or upon any building, lot, grounds or premises, within the limits of this town” to check for any nuisances.

“Obviously we all know you can’t do that,” Town Attorney Jake Elder said. “It’s in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

The ordinance’s amendment, which passed 4-0 last week with council President Paul Rhodes absent, changes the language to state that a town official must have a court order or written permission of the owner to enter private premises.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, on behalf of Sellersburg resident William Schuler, sued the town in mid-August because Sellersburg Building Commissioner Greg Dietz allegedly entering Schuler’s property in 2013 and in 2015 when he was not there and threatened to do so again.

An Aug. 19th ILB post headed "ACLU of Indiana challenges Sellersburg ordinance allowing warrantless searches of private property" includes quotes from an ACLU Indiana news release, plus a copy of the complaint.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 21, 2015 08:26 AM
Posted to Indiana Government