Court lacked jurisdiction over private claim for declaratory/injunctive relief from activity regulated by IDEM

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Thomas and Jae Breitweiser, Michael Bowen, Sue Passwater, and members of Save the Valley, Inc. (collectively “Residents”) appeal the trial court’s denial of their motion to correct error. The Residents raise three issues on appeal. However, we address the following dispositive issue: whether the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over a private claim for declaratory and injunctive relief arising from activity regulated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”).

Conclusion (slip op. at 4)
: We affirm the trial court’s dismissal of the Residents’ complaint, and remand with instructions to vacate the existing orders and to enter an order dismissing the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 4)
: If landowners included in their complaint a request for monetary damages for any taking, trespass, or nuisance caused by discharge from the sewage treatment project, the case might well present issues for ultimate determination by the trial court following completion of the permitting process . . In the instant dispute . . . there was no claim for monetary damages.

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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