Public Service Co. of Indiana, Inc. v. Decatur County Rural Elec. Membership Corp., No. 1--1076A188

Docket NºNo. 1--1076A188
Citation363 N.E.2d 995, 173 Ind.App. 198
Case DateMay 31, 1977
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 995

363 N.E.2d 995
173 Ind.App. 198
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF INDIANA, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DECATUR COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATION,
American Fletcher National Bank & Trust Company,
and United States of America,
Defendants-Appellees.
No. 1--1076A188.
Court of Appeals of Indiana, First District.
May 31, 1977.
Rehearing Denied July 12, 1977.

Page 996

Duejean Garrett, Plainfield, Wycoff, Greeman & Kellerman, Batesville, for plaintiff-appellant.

Don H. Wickens, Wickens, Wickens & Wilke, Greensburg, for defendants-appellees.

ROBERTSON, Chief Judge.

Plaintiff-appellant Public Service Company of Indiana, Inc. (PSI) brings this appeal from a denial by the trial court of its motion to correct errors. PSI raises the following issues in connection with the trial court's judgment sustaining objection to PSI's condemnation complaints, resulting in a dismissal:

1. Is PSI required to show a resolution by its Board of Directors authorizing the condemnation suits?

2. Did PSI make a good faith effort to purchase the property before filing its condemnation suits?

[173 Ind.App. 199] 3. Did the right of PSI to bring the actions lapse prior to the filing of a complaint?

4. Were the complaints filed by PSI legally sufficient?

5. Do the condemnation suits of PSI interfere with the purpose of the National Rural Electrification Act?

6. Are the Indiana Eminent Domain Act, IC 1971, 32--11--1--1 et seq. (Burns Code Ed.) and Section 18a of the Rural Electric Membership Corporation Act, IC 1971, 8--1--13--19 (Burns Code Ed.) unconstitutional?

In addition, defendant-appellee, Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) raises two issues for our consideration:

1. May this Court on appeal rule on issues for which the trial court made no specific findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Trial Rule 52:

2. Did the trial court have subject matter jurisdiction in this cause?

We reverse.

The relevant facts of this case are as follows. On November 8, 1965, the City of Batesville passed Ordinance #457 ('457') and on May 8, 1967, passed Ordinance #5--67 ('5--67'). Both ordinances annexed certain property contiguous to Batesville. REMC was the owner of electric utility facilities in the areas annexed by 457 and 5--67 at the time of the annexations.

Page 997

After the annexations, PSI conducted field inventories of REMC's property located in the annexed areas and developed appraisals calculated by figuring the reproduction cost of the equipment when new, minus depreciation. Severance damages were determined for the property within 457, but PSI determined that no severance damage would be realized from the acquisition of property in 5--67.

[173 Ind.App. 200] On May 3, 1966, PSI's Manager, Clarence Callon, made a verbal offer to REMC for the purchase of the property in 457. Callon was told by REMC's manager that the offer would be submitted to REMC's Board of Directors. On September 13, 1966, Callon was informed by the REMC manager that the board was not interested in selling. In December, Callon personally delivered to REMC's manager a written offer to purchase the property located in that area and was again told that the offer would be submitted to the board. The written offer was returned by mail without any further correspondence.

At no time was any counter offer or counter proposal made by REMC, and at no time were any comments or suggestions tendered by REMC in regard to any apparent inadequacies of the offers made by PSI. The negotiations for the property within 5--67 were substantially the same.

PSI subsequently filed two condemnation suits against REMC in the Franklin Circuit Court on April 21 and May 15, 1967. American Fletcher National Bank, as trustee, and the United States, as mortgagee, were added as parties, but have not joined in this appeal. These two actions were subsequently consolidated. In September, 1975, hearings were finally held on REMC's lengthy objections to the condemnation complaints of PSI, and on May 12, 1976, the court sustained the objections of REMC and dismissed the complaints, finding specifically that the Board of Directors of PSI had failed to authorize the filing of the actions or the purchase of REMC's property.

Since REMC challenges the jurisdiction of this Court to rule on the issues raised in the motion to correct errors of PSI, we shall first consider those issues properly raised by REMC. REMC first contends that we should not review on appeal the issues raised by PSI because the trial court failed to make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law, pursuant to Trial Rule 52, as to the specific objections filed by [173 Ind.App. 201] REMC. In its judgment, the trial court specifically found that the Board of Directors of PSI was required to authorize the purchase or condemnation of the property and that the Board had failed to do this. The Court then stated generally that REMC's objections were sustained without making any findings specifically addressed to the numerous other objections of REMC.

Although REMC, in its brief, attempts to raise an issue regarding the failure by the trial court to make specific findings after a timely request by REMC pursuant to Trial Rule 52(A), we note that REMC did not raise this issue by filing a motion to correct errors, and therefore waived any issue in that regard. In re Adoption of Graft (1972), 153 Ind.App. 546, 288 N.E.2d 274; Loudermilk v. Feld Truck Leasing Co. of Indiana (1976), Ind.App., 358 N.E.2d 160. In addition, REMC does not recognize that a trial court may make special findings as to some issues in a case and a general finding as to the remaining issues. Hunter v. Milhous (1973), Ind.App., 305 N.E.2d 448. While the trial court here might have erred in failing to make specific findings after a timely request, that error is not jurisdictional, is not properly before us, and will not be considered.

REMC further asserts that, in any event, this Court should do no more than remand this case for further findings of fact by the trial court. With that we cannot agree. As stated above, the issues raised by PSI are properly before us, having been decided adversely to PSI by general and special findings of the trial court and raised in a motion to correct errors. No purpose would be served by such a remand.

REMC also argues that the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction. It contends that jurisdiction should be in the Public Service Commission due to an earlier

Page 998

dispute between the parties as to operating authority and cites Decatur REMC v. Public Service Company of Indiana, Inc. (1971), 150 Ind.App. 193, 275 N.E.2d 857. However, that [173 Ind.App. 202] case involved only a question as to service rights between utilities, which is properly within the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, and did not involve a condemnation under § 18a. See: Decatur County REMC v. Public Service Company of Indiana Inc. (1974), Ind.App., 307 N.E.2d 96.

We believe REMC has confused the concepts of subject matter jurisdiction and jurisdiction over a particular case. See: WILTROUT, PRACTICE, § 122. The former concerns whether a court has jurisdiction over a...

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12 practice notes
  • Associates Inv. Co. v. Claeys, No. 71A04-8804-CV-131
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 8, 1989
    ...the particular case because of the existence of particular facts contained therein. Public Service Co. v. Decatur County REMC (1977), 173 Ind.App. 198, 363 N.E.2d 995. Failure to timely raise the issue of jurisdiction of a specific case effects a waiver thereof. Farley [v. Farley], supra [ ......
  • Clark v. Clark, No. 1-679A159
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 13, 1980
    ...Ind., 375 N.E.2d 1112; Public Service Company of Indiana, Inc. v. Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation, (1977) Ind.App., 363 N.E.2d 995. Page "In this case we believe the Act is intended to be the exclusive source of authority to adjudicate a custody dispute." In the instant......
  • Twyman v. State, No. 2-183A3
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 18, 1983
    ...of the facts of that particular case. Public Service Company of Indiana, Inc. v. Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corp., (1977) 173 Ind.App. 198, 363 N.E.2d 995, trans. denied. Objections to the trial court's jurisdiction of the particular case may be waived by not raising them at t......
  • Unger v. Indiana & Michigan Elec. Co., No. 1-380A63
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 19, 1981
    ...upon an appraisal of the property. Public Service Company of Indiana v. Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation, (1977) 173 Ind.App. 198, 363 N.E.2d 995; Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation v. Public Service Company of Indiana, (1976) 171 Ind.App. 87, 355 N.E.2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Associates Inv. Co. v. Claeys, No. 71A04-8804-CV-131
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 8, 1989
    ...the particular case because of the existence of particular facts contained therein. Public Service Co. v. Decatur County REMC (1977), 173 Ind.App. 198, 363 N.E.2d 995. Failure to timely raise the issue of jurisdiction of a specific case effects a waiver thereof. Farley [v. Farley], supra [ ......
  • Clark v. Clark, No. 1-679A159
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 13, 1980
    ...Ind., 375 N.E.2d 1112; Public Service Company of Indiana, Inc. v. Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation, (1977) Ind.App., 363 N.E.2d 995. Page "In this case we believe the Act is intended to be the exclusive source of authority to adjudicate a custody dispute." In the instant......
  • Twyman v. State, No. 2-183A3
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 18, 1983
    ...of the facts of that particular case. Public Service Company of Indiana, Inc. v. Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corp., (1977) 173 Ind.App. 198, 363 N.E.2d 995, trans. denied. Objections to the trial court's jurisdiction of the particular case may be waived by not raising them at t......
  • Unger v. Indiana & Michigan Elec. Co., No. 1-380A63
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 19, 1981
    ...upon an appraisal of the property. Public Service Company of Indiana v. Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation, (1977) 173 Ind.App. 198, 363 N.E.2d 995; Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation v. Public Service Company of Indiana, (1976) 171 Ind.App. 87, 355 N.E.2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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