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Barnes & Thornburg attorneys work closely with our municipal clients to determine whether and when to pursue annexation or reorganization, including guiding them through substantial reforms to Indiana’s annexation and reorganization laws, including those under the Indiana Government Modernization Act.

In our experience, most annexations – whether voluntary or involuntary – are driven by considerations involving economic development, aligning corporate boundaries with service areas, and/or the elimination of subsidies. Reorganizations are often considered for the same reasons, plus a need for greater flexibility that may not be available through annexation.

Our breadth and depth of experience in multiple practice areas that impact local governments – like utilities, economic development, public finance and taxation – provide our clients with the comprehensive legal services they need in order to pursue efforts that make sense for their communities.

Our attorneys have advised municipalities at all stages of the annexation process, from planning to adoption to, in certain cases, defending remonstrance actions or other challenges to annexation in court. While the majority of the dozens of annexations with which we have been involved do not end up in litigation, the firm also has successfully defended a number of annexations in court in remonstrance and other actions. In the course of representing clients in some of the most complex annexations in Indiana, our attorneys have played an active role in shaping the law of annexation in this State.

For example, our firm represented the City of Carmel in its annexation of Southwest Clay Township, which was affirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court; the Town of Fishers in its annexations of the areas surrounding Geist Reservoir; and what is believed to be the largest annexation ever in Johnson County. Barnes & Thornburg successfully defended the City of Martinsville’s annexation of the I-69 corridor, the City of Kokomo’s annexation of the area at the U.S. 31 interchange; and the City of Logansport’s annexations of the Hoosier Heartland Corridor.

In addition, our firm represented the Town of Zionsville in connection with its reorganization of Perry Township, including defending legal challenges to that reorganization that were ultimately rejected by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Practice Leaders

Bruce Donaldson

Bruce D. Donaldson

Of Counsel (Retired)
Economic Development Practice Chair


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