Keil Chemical Co. v. Common Council of City of Hammond, Ind., 45A03-9212-CV-420

Docket NºNo. 45A03-9212-CV-420
Citation612 N.E.2d 209
Case DateApril 20, 1993
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 209

612 N.E.2d 209
KEIL CHEMICAL COMPANY, a Division of Ferro Corporation,
Appellant-Plaintiff Below,
City of Hammond, Indiana, a Municipal Corporation,
Appellees-Defendants Below.
No. 45A03-9212-CV-420.
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
Third District.
April 20, 1993.
Rehearing Denied July 20, 1993.

Page 210

Debra Lynch Dubovich, Goodman Ball & Van Bokkelen, Highland, for appellant-plaintiff.

Richard P. Komyatte, Alfred R. Uzis, Komyatte & Freeland, P.C., Highland, for appellees-defendants.

STATON, Judge.

Keil Chemical Company ("Keil") appeals the dismissal of Keil's petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of a decision by the City of Hammond Board of Zoning Appeals ("BZA") and the Hammond Common Council. We are presented with two (restated) issues for this court's review:

I. Whether dismissal was appropriate because Keil failed to comply with the jurisdictional requirements of IND.CODE 36-7-4-1003 and IND.CODE 36-7-4-1005.

II. Whether grounds for review alleged in the Petition for Writ of Certiorari, including violation of the Open Door Act and the unconstitutionality of a statute, survive dismissal of the Petition for insufficient verification, notice and presentment.

We affirm.

Keil Chemical Company was an unsuccessful use variance applicant before the BZA and the Hammond Common Council. On October 21, 1991, Keil filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the Lake Superior Court, naming as respondents the Hammond Common Council and the City of Hammond (collectively "Hammond").

On February 18, 1992, Hammond filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and attached exhibits (documents from the Secretary of State). Keil filed a memorandum in opposition to dismissal and attached affidavits. Hearing was held on June 8, 1992; further affidavits were submitted.

On June 15, 1992, the trial court dismissed the petition for lack of presentment. The "Judgment of Dismissal" provided in pertinent part:

"This cause having been submitted to the Court on June 8, 1992, upon Respondents' Motion to Dismiss Petitioner's Petition for writ of certiorari, said Motion asserting that the Court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter of this particular case in that the Petitioner failed to

Page 211

strictly comply with requirements of applicable governing statutes, and the parties having appeared before the Court by their respective counsel, and the Court having heard and considered the arguments of counsel, examined its records and being otherwise duly advised in the premises finds:

1. That the said Petition was filed on or about the 21st day of October, 1991, which was within thirty (30) days after the date of the decision complained of therein;

2. That above and beyond the mere filing of said Petition, this Court has not been requested in any manner to issue any order or rule to show cause; or issue any writ; nor did this Court thereafter issue or enter any order whatsoever in this review proceeding, nor issue a writ of certiorari or fix a time for the return thereof; nor was any rule to show cause or writ of certiorari served upon Respondent Common Council or Respondent City of Hammond;

3. That the mere filing of the Petition does not relieve the Petitioner of properly presenting the Petition to the Court within the time prescribed by statute so that the mandatory and jurisdictional procedures set forth by statute may be followed;

4. That all prescribed time periods for complying with applicable statutory requirements have lapsed as a consequence of Petitioner's failure to bring its Petition to the Court's attention in a proper and timely manner;

5. That Petitioner failed to meet its burden of strict compliance with the statutory requirements for review of the complained of decision and Respondents' Motion should be sustained and granted."

Record, pp. 208-209.

Keil filed a motion to correct errors on July 6, 1992. On September 29, 1992, the trial court entered an order denying Keil's Motion to Correct Errors and granting Hammond's "Request to Cure Other Error." The court found that Hammond had shown additional deficiencies in Keil's petition with regard to verification and notice. This appeal ensued.


Jurisdictional Requirements

I.C. 36-7-4-1003(a) provides in pertinent part:

"Each decision of the ... board of zoning appeals is subject to review by certiorari. Each person aggrieved by a decision of the board of zoning appeals or the legislative body may present, to the circuit or superior court of the county in which the premises affected are located, a verified...

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