Ind. high court to hear eminent domain lawsuit

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The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear an eminent domain case involving land in southern Indiana that a local board claimed for a planned airport runway expansion.

The state's high court recently vacated the Indiana Court of Appeals' ruling in the case involving the action by the now-defunct Clark County Board of Aviation Commissioners. That board used eminent domain in 2009 to acquire property owned by resident Margaret Dreyer for a runway expansion at the Clark County Regional Airport.

Dreyer sued the board, alleging its appraisals of the property acquired through eminent domain were wrong. She won and was awarded a judgment of $865,000.

The News and Tribune reported Clark County became party to the case last year when Dreyer's motion was granted to have the "civil government of Clark County" pay the judgment. The Court of Appeals later upheld the verdict.

South Central Regional Airport Authority Attorney Greg Fifer said last week in an email that the Indiana Supreme Court could either reach the same verdict as the appellate court, or affirm the county's position that the judgment was void.

Authority President Tom Galligan said the panel, which replaced the now-defunct Board of Aviation Commissioners, is pleased with the court's decision to hear the case. He said the airport authority thought the original ruling "was not a very good ruling."

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