While the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) approved Marshall County’s petition to establish a regional sewer district that could comprise several high-density areas in the county including the lake area southwest of Plymouth earlier this month, the district is established subject to a petition for judicial review that is filed within 30 days. 

County Attorney Jim Clevenger said under the state administrative procedure rules, a person wanting to challenge the establishment of the district must have standing.  In this case, standing generally requires someone within the district boundaries and a person who is aggrieved meaning they have been prejudiced by the decision or did not receive notice.

Clevenger told the commissioners the petitioner will need to show immediate and irreparable harm and that the petitioner has no other remedies at law. 

The County Attorney said in most cases, if a petitioner is allowed to proceed with the petition for judicial review, the court would set a bond that the petitioner would have to pay to cover certain costs of the proceedings.

Indiana Code provides that the petition for judicial review should be filed in the judicial district which in most cases would have been Marshall Circuit Court.  Mr. Clevenger pointed out that Judge Palmer lives within the district and would excuse himself from hearing the petition for judicial review. Judge Colvin in Marshall Superior Court II also lives within the district so it is not likely that he would hear the petition.  Clevenger said he was unsure if Donnybrook was an area within the district.  Judge Bowen lives in the Bremen subdivision and would also excuse himself.  That leaves Judge Sarber who lives in the rural area south of Plymouth but not within the proposed district.  He would be the only one who would qualify to conduct the judicial review.

As he noted, Clevenger said the petition needs to be filed within 30 days of the notice.  The petition needs to be served on IDEM, the Indiana Attorney General, and in this case Marshall County.  He told the commissioners if he becomes aware of such a filing, he will promptly notify them.