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Important Ruling Upholds Indiana Right to Farm Law

Important Ruling Upholds Indiana Right to Farm Law
Recent decision good news for supporters of Right to Farm Law.

You can do what you want on your land without fear of being forced out of business by a law you probably never think about. It's the Indiana Right to Farm Law, and as these laws go, Indiana has one of the stronger Right to Farm laws in the nation in terms of protecting farmers and their ability to continue in their operations.

That was made evident with a recent decision, reported in the Indiana Farm Bureau Policy Dispatch, a newsletter produced during and immediately after each legislative session. Bob Kraft, who authors the Dispatch, also covers what happens outside of the legislature that affects Indiana farmers, including a recent court ruling on the Indiana Right to Farm Law.

Important ruling: A court ruling on a nuisance suit and clarification of an earlier decision indicates Indiana's Right to Farm Law has teeth in it to protect farmers going about daily operation.

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the Indiana Right to Farm Law, which protects a farm from nuisance suits, according to the Policy Dispatch. The case was Parker vs. Obert Legacy Dairy, LLC. Neighbors of the dairy operation sued, claiming expansion of the dairy constituted a nuisance. However, the Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court, and cited that the Indiana Right to Farm Law does indeed bar the Parkers' nuisance suit. The Indiana Court of Appeals in effect said that the trial court acted properly in granting the Obert family's motion for summary judgment.

An important holding, or point of law, made in the decision, Kraft notes, is that the Indiana Right to Farm Law is meant to protect farms form claims about damage to non-agricultural uses of the neighboring properties, which clarified an earlier ruling of the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation, started by Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc., and funded largely by donations, filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals seeking clarification of the previous court decision. In that case the court held that the law was not applicable in a lawsuit between two farms about damages to the agricultural uses of the property.

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