Article Title

The Indianapolis Environmental Court

Publication Title

Urban Law Annual


The City of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana, created an "Environmental Court" in May 1978 which exercises both criminal and civil jurisdiction over all matters related to land use controls. Many factors contributed to the creation of the court: a progressive city government, a strong and innovative mayor, an active Clean City Committee, and community awareness of the housing situation. The primary motivation, however, was the ineffective processing of municipal code violations. Jurisdiction over environmental cases was split between twenty-one different courts. The Indianapolis area needed a single court to handle the special problems of enforcing the tens of thousands of housing code and sanitation code violations.