Declaratory Judgments in Indiana

EDWIN M. BORCHARD, Yale Law School


On March 5, 1927, Indiana adopted the Uniform Act on Declaratory Judgments., since then this reform in procedure has had in Indiana a somewhat checkered career. Beginning slowly to apply the statute, the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality by inference in 1930 in a case brought by certain taxpayers against the State Board of Tax Commissioners and the City of South Bend, alleging that a statute conferring revisory taxing powers on the State Board was unconstitutional. Constitutionality was squarely upheld upon allegations of non-justiciability in 1935, when the court upheld the propriety of an action for the construction of a contract for the sale of stock and the application to the purchase price of certain funds. A few judges had stumbled over this hurdle, believing the declaration of rights to be an advisory opinion, a hypothetical case, or for other reasons not to involve a justiciable controversy.