Mint Management, LLC, and J&MW Holdings, LLC, Appellants-Plaintiffs.
City of Richmond, Indiana, Appellee-Defendant.
from the Wayne Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
89D01-1310-PL-44 The Honorable Charles K. Todd, Jr., Judge
Attorneys for Appellant Steven E. Runyan Justin Leverton
Kroger, Gardis & Regas, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee James R. Williams Matthew L. Kelsey
Defur Voran LLP Muncie, Indiana
of the Case
Appellants/Plaintiffs, Mint Management, LLC and J&MW
Holdings, LLC (collectively, "Property Owners"),
appeal the trial court's grant of summary judgment in
favor of Appellee/Defendant, the City of Richmond, Indiana
("the City"), on the Property Owners'
declaratory judgment claim. The Property Owners filed a claim
for a declaratory judgment on the issue of whether they were
required to pay the City's fee ("Stormwater
Fee") for financing its stormwater system. The City
filed a motion for summary judgment, and the trial court
granted the motion. It reasoned that all owners of real
estate parcels in Richmond were required to pay the
Stormwater Fee pursuant to the language of the City's
On appeal, the Property Owners argue that we should interpret
the City's stormwater ordinance as exempting their
properties from the Stormwater Fee because the stormwater
runoff from their properties does not enter the City's
stormwater system. Because we conclude that the language of
the ordinance as a whole requires all property owners in
Richmond to pay the Stormwater Fee, we conclude that the
trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor
of the City.
the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in
favor of the City.
On April 16, 2007, the City adopted Ordinance No. 47-2006
("the Ordinance"), which created a Stormwater
Management District in Richmond ("Stormwater
District"). The Stormwater District was created
"for the purpose of managing the stormwater collection
and conveyance systems and activities in the [C]ity,
establishing rates and charges for the users of the
stormwater system of the [C]ity[, ] and other related
matters." (App. 234). In order to finance the Stormwater
District, Section 59.06 of the Ordinance, the
"Stormwater Service Charge" section, provided that:
A [Stormwater Fee] shall be imposed on each and every lot and
parcel of land within the City which directly or
indirectly contributes to the storm water system of the
City, which charge shall be assessed against the property
owner thereof, who ...