Appeals / Complaints
If an applicant for or recipient of township poor relief is not satisfied with the decision rendered, the applicant/recipient may request a review and reconsideration of the application. To request a review and reconsideration of the application, the applicant/recipient is required to furnish to the Trustee’s office, within three (3) days of any partial or complete denial for assistance, orally or in writing the reasons he/she believes the decision is in error.
Concerns / Complaints may be addressed to:
Fairfield Township Trustee
718 Wabash Avenue
Lafayette, IN 47905
If the request for review and reconsideration is not successful, and the final decision made by the Trustee is not acceptable to the applicant/recipient, the Trustee will extend the applicant’s/recipients right to appeal the final decision to the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners within fifteen (15) days from the date of the final decision.
The Tippecanoe County Commissioners will conduct a hearing on the appeal. In hearing an appeal, the Commissioners will be governed by the township’s poor relief standards for determining eligibility to the extent that the standards comply with existing law for the granting of poor relief. If no legally sufficient standards have been established, the Commissioners will be guided by the circumstances in each case. If the Commissioners or any other court finds any provision of these standards to be violative of an ordinance, statute, or the Indiana or U.S. Constitution, then all other provisions of these standards will remain in full force and effect.
The applicant/recipient making the appeal must be present at the hearing conducted by the Commissioners. The Township Trustee or the Trustee’s representative, will be notified in writing of the hearing date and time by the Commissioners, but the failure of the Township Trustee or the Trustee’s representative to be present is not cause for postponement of the hearing unless the Trustee requests and is granted a continuance. A continuance requested by the Township Trustee does not reduce the period required for a decision.
The Commissioners will hold a hearing, as soon as possible, after the filing of an appeal, but not more than ten (10) working days after the appeal form is received in the office of the Commissioners. Subsequent to the hearing, the Commissioners will issue a written decision that must:
(1) appear in the official record of the Board of Commissioners.
(2) be issued to the appellant and the Township Trustee not more than five (5) working days following the date of the hearing.
(3) state the legal and factual basis for the decision.
(4) advise the appellant and the Township Trustee of the right to judicial review and the period prescribed for requesting judicial review.
(5) inform the appellant of the availability of free legal counsel for the indigent.
The Township Trustee, as administrator of poor relief, will carry out a decision of the Commissioners to sustain, increase, grant, or otherwise modify poor relief, only if the Commissioners comply with the requirements for a written decision, as listed above.
The Township Trustee or an applicant may appeal a decision of the Commissioners to a circuit or superior court with jurisdiction in the county. In hearing an appeal, the court will be governed by the township’s poor relief standards for determining eligibility and granting poor relief in the township. If legally sufficient standards have not been established, the court will be guided by the circumstances of the case.
If the court sets aside a decision of the Commissioners in favor of an applicant, the Township Trustee may deny any further assistance to the applicant or seek to recover the amount of any assistance awarded as a result of the Commissioners’ decision.
For the purpose of safeguarding the office and employees of the township, the Trustee will immediately report any unruly or unlawful behavior of visitors to the township office to proper authorities for prosecution. Additionally, the Trustee may seek an immediate court protective order against any individual exhibiting such behavior, which will terminate the Trustee’s responsibilities to any such individual and will bar such individual from further contact with the Trustee’s office.
All decisions regarding eligibility will be based on the foregoing standards. These standards, adopted by the Fairfield Township Board, will be placed in a prominently visible location at the Trustee’s office and be filed with the County Commissioners. Members of the public will be permitted to copy these standards at their own expense. The standards will be reviewed and updated annually to reflect changes in the cost of basic necessities in the township and changes in the law. The Township Trustee is intent on assisting the township’s indigent and will endeavor to provide necessary assistance within the limits of the standards herein and the laws of the State of Indiana.