Indiana Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Pulaski County Land Case

 A case involving the ownership of land in Pulaski County was heard Monday before the Indiana Supreme Court.

The case of Bonnell v. Cotner pertains to a land dispute involving a tax sale and a claim of adverse possession. The Pulaski County Circuit Court ruled in favor of Bonnell, but an Appellate court reversed that decision.

According to oral arguments heard on Monday, the attorney defending Thomas Bonnell said the case could have a substantial impact on Indiana Law. Based upon their evidence, Bonnell acquired 35 feet of land from the Pulaski County Commissioners in the Cottingham Subdivision in Pulaski County via tax sale.

The attorney representing Ruby Cotner says the property was initially acquired under adverse possession as opposed to the more common Title Deed method. Given what was described in court as improper notice of tax delinquency on the property in the plat, the land in question is not subject to sale based upon tax delinquency once it has satisfied the requirements of the court’s Fraley v. Minger decision.

Apart from the commercialization of property by the county – the sale of which is required under state statute once per year, the way in which delinquent taxes are managed and enforced in the state of Indiana could be under question. That’s if they’re found in competition with adverse possession laws.

The Court said following arguments Monday that it will discuss the case and issue an opinion. No date for a decision was provided.