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Lindsey v. DeGroot

898 N.E.2d 1251 (2009)

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Lindsey v. DeGroot

Indiana Court of Appeals

898 N.E.2d 1251 (2009)

Facts

In a rural, agricultural area of Indiana, Donald and Jacquelyn Lindsey (plaintiffs) purchased 10 acres of land. The Lindseys built their home there and owned various animals. A few years later, in June 2002, DeGroot Dairy, LLC (DeGroot) (defendant) began farming operations. DeGroot raised hundreds of cows and calves, produced milk, and grew various crops. A DeGroot farm field was located directly north of the Lindseys’ property. DeGroot and the Lindseys became embroiled in a dispute over their property line. Thereafter, in December 2003, the Lindseys sued DeGroot seeking to stop the dairy’s operations. The Lindseys alleged nuisance and negligence, among other claims. DeGroot filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Indiana’s Right to Farm Act applied to bar the Lindseys’ nuisance claim because the Lindseys could not establish that any nuisance was caused by negligent dairy-farm operations. The Lindseys did not designate any evidence of negligence. The trial court agreed with DeGroot, found the act constitutional and applicable, and entered judgment for DeGroot. The Lindseys appealed, arguing that the statute amounted to an unconstitutional taking of the Lindseys’ property rights and did not preclude the Lindseys’ nuisance claim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bradford, J.)

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