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Appeals court affirms judgment in family land-contract dispute

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A trial court properly ruled that an insurance company owed no duty to a mother who sold property on contract to her son and daughter-in-law, but the son and daughter-in-law who collected proceeds from the policy do.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed the judgment of Howard Circuit Judge Lynn A. Murray in a 28-page order that found an insurance company was not liable for failing to name the mother on a home insurance policy despite her ownership.

In Nancy A. Missig v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, Andre M. Missig, and Autumn Missig, 34A02-1212-CT-1002, the court did find that Andre and Autumn Missig did bear liability to Nancy Missig, who had sold a Kokomo home to them on a contract under which they agreed to pay a monthly sum plus taxes and insurance.

When the home burned and was a total loss, State Farm paid claims to Andre and Autumn totaling $270,000, but the couple failed to make good on the land contract. The trial court found, and the appeals court affirmed, that State Farm owed no duty to the mother, but that she was entitled to a lien on a home in Windfall that Andre and Autumn purchased with insurance proceeds. The lien of more than $153,000 plus interest represents the balance due Nancy on the land contract for the Kokomo home.

“We conclude that the trial court properly entered judgment for Nancy against Andre and Autumn for the full unpaid balance of the land contract including interest, plus a lien and constructive trust as to the Windfall Property,” Judge John Baker wrote for the panel that included judges Ezra Friedlander and Nancy Vaidik. “We also conclude that the trial court properly determined that State Farm was not obligated to pay additional proceeds to Nancy because it already paid the required funds to Andre and Autumn, the named insureds under the policy.

“Indeed, Autumn and Andre could have shared the proceeds they received from State Farm with Nancy, but chose not to do so,” Baker wrote. The court also noted “the trial court observed that Nancy did nothing to confirm that her interest in the property was protected.”
 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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