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Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation August 2016 Issue
InAgLaw Hdr

Montgomery County Farmers' Drainage Case to Go Forward

By Brock Burnick, INFB Law Clerk

Last week, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the Montgomery County Court’s decision in Birge v. Town of Linden. The decision is a procedural victory for Darrell and Sandra Birge, who allege that the town of Linden and the Montgomery County Drainage Board improperly constructed a storm drain on their property and flooded their farmland.

The Birges allege that prior to 2012, the Montgomery County Drainage Board had built and maintained an agricultural drain on their property that successfully drained water from their farmland. In 2012, the town and the county drainage board built another drain, this time a municipal storm drain, and assessed the $9,000 cost against the Birges. The Birges received no benefit from the new drain, which only partially directed water away from their farmland and was less effective than the preexisting drain that was destroyed in the process. The aftermath left approximately 13 acres of prime farm land submerged in a bog-like state, unable to be farmed.

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