The Porter County Health Department (PCHD) investigates approximately 150 health complaints each year. Often, citizens complain to the PCHD about nuisances of various kinds, thinking that health authorities have the power to address any offensive condition. This is not the case. Often the PCHD has no legal authority to act.
Complaints That Will Not Be Acted On
Typical complaints that are borderline or definitely not the province of the PCHD are those concerning:
- Accumulated junk
- Barking dogs
- Building code violations
- Line fences
- Livestock and poultry operations
- Mud holes
- Offensive odors
- Poison ivy
- Poor drainage
- Rental disputes
- Unfenced stormwater retention ponds
- Unmown lawns
- Weed patches
Nuisances Recognized By State Law
State law recognizes three types of nuisances:
- Property nuisances are addressed by IC 32-30-6, with enforcement by the aggrieved party through their personal attorney
- Public health nuisances are addressed by IC 16-20-1-25, with enforcement by the local health officer
- Public nuisances are addressed by IC 35-43-1-2, with enforcement by the local prosecutor
Health officials have no authority to address public or property nuisances.
Public & Property Nuisance Complaints
The following Code Enforcement Officers may be able to assist with public and property issues located within the following jurisdictions:
- Chesterton: Building Department, 219-926-2610
- Porter County: Porter County Building Department, Code Enforcement, 219-465-3675
- Portage: Portage Code Enforcement, 219-762-4204
- Valparaiso: Valparaiso Code Enforcement, 219-462-1161
Public Health Complaints
Public health complaints can be made to the PCHD Environment Division (219-465-3525) pertaining to issues of public health. Anonymous complaints are accepted. However, in all instances, an address for the site in question must be provided. Public health issues may include:
- Broken or discharging sewer lines
- Lack of heat, water, electricity, or sewer/septic to a residence
- Lack of trash pick-up service
- Malfunctioning septic systems
As a renter, you must have a signed lease, be current on your rent, and have already informed your landlord of the complaint before the Porter County Health Department will investigate the complaint.
For renter's rights, please see: Tenant Rights Laws and Protection: Indiana
Complaints Concerning Minors
Please contact Porter County Child Protective Services for any issues concerning minors, at 219-462-7555.
Complaints Concerning Adults
Please contact Porter County Adult Protective Services for issues concerning endangered adults, 219-326-6808 extension 372.