By Ann Marie Shambaugh
The legal battle between the towns of Zionsville and Whitestown doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, as the Whitestown Town Council unanimously voted June 9 to move ahead with plans to attempt to transfer a boundary dispute to the Indiana Supreme Court.
“We’ve got public policy decision here that is novel and it needs to be decided by the Supreme Court,” said Whitestown Town Council president Eric Miller after the vote, adding that Zionsville officials said the same thing several months ago.
On June 2, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Zionsville’s reorganization with Perry Township – approved by voters in late 2014 – was valid, overturning an earlier court decision that sided with Whitestown. Later that day, Zionsville installed its first mayor and began the process of providing services to its new residents.
Two days later, the Town of Whitestown sent a cease and desist letter to the Town of Zionsville, demanding that they stop acting as if the reorganization with Perry Township was final when the case could still be heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.
A definitive no.
“Unless and until a court orders otherwise, the Trial Court’s Judgment did not prohibit Zionsville from taking actions reforming its internal government so as to implement the will of the voters who overwhelmingly approved the reorganization plan,” states a letter to Whitestown’s attorneys dated June 9 by Mark J. Crandley, an attorney representing Zionsville.
The letter also states that Whitestown would need a court injunction to halt Zionsville’s reorganization efforts and describes the sending of the “red-letter ‘cease and desist’ notifications in the middle of the night requesting a two-and-a-half business day response” as “over the top.”
Whitestown officials expect to file a motion to try and have the case transferred to the Supreme Court within a month.