Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Paul A. Felix struck down a request from the Indiana Transportation Museum for a delay of eviction from the City of Noblesville.
The decision requires the museum to vacate the 10-acre property at Forest Park in Noblesville by July 12.
The ITM earlier this year filed a lawsuit against the city after its board said the June 1 date to be off Forest Park premises was unreasonable. The museum is leaving the park after more than 50 years because the city chose not to renew its lease.
“We are disappointed in the decision by the court for not protecting a private not-for-profit enterprise against unlawful seizure of assets, a statement from the ITM reads. “Today the public has witnessed a systematic government intervention into private enterprise and the destruction of an institution which has served the public for more than 50 years. Today the Indiana Transportation Museum is the victim. Tomorrow it could be another museum, not-for-profit or private business. The next day it could be your home taken in an eminent domain land grab to benefit developers. We thought that we could get a fair trial in Hamilton County. We are uncertain what the next steps are for the Indiana Transportation Museum, but are disappointed in the decision in favor of the City.”
The City of Noblesville also released a statement regarding Felix’s decision.
“We are thankful to Judge Paul Felix and his fair, unbiased judgement on this matter,” the statement reads. “This case was based on the lease not being renewed and setting a deadline for the removal of the Indiana Transportation Museum and its property within Forest Park, which originated from ITM suing the city. The order speaks for itself and is very clear and transparent. We are very pleased with the court’s order and believe it is the right ruling and in the public’s best interest. The property is a mess but will be restored in a safe and efficient manner. The city will continue to hold ITM responsible for any environmental issues remaining at the site.”
The ITM will soon be moving to Logansport with its equipment. After the July 12 deadline, the ITM would be considered a trespasser on be property, according the Felix.