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Attorney Asks Court Of Appeals To Rehear Lake Monroe Logging Dispute

Huff property

A lawsuit claims an agreement doesn't allow Huff to use easements for logging activities. (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

An attorney representing some residents of The Shores subdivision filed a petition earlier this month asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to rehear a case about logging on private property near Lake Monroe.

The subdivision residents filed a lawsuit claiming adjacent property owner Joe Huff used shared easements for logging activities on his land, which they say a longstanding agreement doesn’t allow.

Huff also didn’t receive a logging permit from Monroe County before hiring a company to start harvesting the timber, but he believes state law allows for logging outside an urban area without a permit.   

A Monroe County judge granted a preliminary injunction in the case last year that halted logging at the Huff property, but the Court of Appeals vacated the injunction last month. The ruling said the trial court’s injunction was too broad.

Attorney Michael Carmin represents the Shores residents and filed a petition earlier this month asking the Court of Appeals to rehear the case, vacate its opinion and affirm the preliminary injunction.

The petition says the Court of Appeals erred in reweighing evidence and disapproving the findings of the trial court. It also says the court’s opinion changes the agreement about use of easements between the neighbors.

Carmin did not respond to a request for comment. 

Attorney Thomas Malapit represents Huff and says they don't plan to file a reponse to the petition. He says the lawsuit has impacted Huff's plans for his land. 

"It's really been a long delay for my client to be able to work on his own property and maintain it," Malapit says. 

It's unclear when the court could decide whether to rehear the case. 

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