Citizens Energy Group Files Lawsuit Against Apartment Owners

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Utility is Seeking Payment of $1.3 Million in Past-Due Utility Bills

INDIANAPOLIS – Citizens Energy Group announced today that it has filed a complaint in Commercial Court in Marion County, Indiana, against Berkley Commons IN, LLC, and JPC Affordable Housing Foundation, Inc., seeking repayment of past-due utility bills and other expenses totaling more than $1.3 million.

Citizens is seeking repayment of past-due bills totaling $344,217 from Berkley Commons IN LLC, which operates Berkley Commons Apartments at 8201 Madison Avenue, Indianapolis. The utility also is seeking repayment of past-due bills totaling $956,792 from JPC Affordable Housing Foundation, which operates the Capital Place Apartments at 4100 Continental Court, Indianapolis, and the Woods at Oak Crossing at 3120 Nobscot Drive, Indianapolis.

Over the past year, Berkley Commons and JPC Affordable Housing have consistently failed to make utility payments on many of their accounts. To avoid disconnection of utility service, Citizens attempted to recoup overdue funds with payment arrangements, but Berkley Commons and JPC Affordable Housing have broken them, as well. Residents of these apartment complexes pay toward their water, sewer, and natural gas bills as part of their rent payments to their property owner, whom Citizens bills as its customer rather than the tenants.

On Feb. 17, 2022, Citizens disconnected water service to the Berkley Commons and Capital Place Apartments for non-payment of past-due bills. Service was reconnected the next day after the City of Indianapolis provided $850,000 to Citizens to apply to the accounts. The $1.3 million being sought from the apartment managers is beyond the $850,000 of city funds applied to the apartment accounts in February.

In addition to repayment of the past-due utility bills, Citizens is requesting creation of a constructive trust over each of the defendants’ funds being collected from tenants for water, sewer, and natural gas utility services. Citizens also is seeking reimbursement from the defendants for its fees and expenses incurred by taking this legal action.

“We are hopeful this legal action against Berkley Commons LLC and JPC Affordable Housing will result in the repayment of past-due bills and payment of future bills, so residents of the apartment complexes have continued access to utility service without our remaining customers having to bear the cost of the apartment owners’ unpaid utility bills,” said Jeffrey Harrison, President & CEO of Citizens. "Protecting customers from the cost of unpaid bills is especially important here in Marion County where more than 20 percent of customers are low income. We appreciate the efforts of Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita toward ensuring these property owners pay their utility bills.”

About Citizens Energy Group
Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 900,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities for the benefit of customers and the community.

Media Contact Information
Daniel Considine
Phone: 317-519-1515