Property

Supreme Court sets speedy hearing to help resolve disputed property taking | State

The Indiana Supreme Court is poised to act with unusual expediency to decide whether the Gary Housing Authority followed proper procedures when it acquired through condemnation a since-demolished restaurant building at 624 Broadway.

Just one day after agreeing to resolve the dispute, the state’s high court on Friday scheduled oral arguments for 10 a.m. Region time June 9, with each side allotted 20 minutes to present their case and answer any questions posed by the five justices.

The quick hearing suggests the Supreme Court may be looking to resolve the dispute before Justice Steven David retires sometime this fall.

At issue is whether the housing authority provided sufficient notice to the property owner prior to taking the building that John Allen was in the midst of renovating into the Nations Restaurant and Bar.

In its most recent ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals said that despite complying with the notice by publication provisions of Indiana law in effect at the time, the Gary Housing Authority had a further obligation under the U.S. Constitution to make an extra effort to directly contact Allen, the registered agent for the building owners.

The housing authority in 2020 tore down the building, as well as the other structures in the 600 block of Broadway, as a prelude to constructing a new, mixed-use housing development in downtown Gary.

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