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Judges affirm division of property

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Although a commissioners’ report that divided land among two owners was technically inadequate, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the division because one of the owners didn’t show he was prejudiced.

In George W. Giltner, Jr. v. Betty L. Ivers, Martin Zacharias, Jr., and Bradi L. Zacharias, No. 10A05-1010-PL-662, Betty Ivers owned 80 percent of a 100-acre parcel of land that was partly wooded and partly farm land, and George Giltner owed the other 20 percent. Brandi and Martin Zacharias, who were buying Ivers’ portion to build a home in the wooded area, tried to negotiate with Giltner to buy his share, but he refused. The Zachariases filed a complaint to compel partition of the land and three commissioners were appointed.

Both parties were interested in the wooded portion, but did not mention that to the commissioners. The commissioners apportioned Giltner 16.5 acres on the farmland side, and the rest of the land to the Zachariases. Giltner filed a motion to set aside the report, claiming the report wasn’t in proper form and was unreasonable in the division of the land. The trial court heard testimony from Giltner about how he often visited the wooded area with his family while growing up and it held special memories for him; Brandi also testified that she had childhood memories of spending time in the woods and that her relatives, who lived nearby, only recalled seeing Giltner on the property twice.

The trial court issued an order confirming the report and denied Giltner’s motion to correct error.

The Court of Appeals rejected the Zachariases’ arguments as to why Giltner waived each issue he raised on appeal. Giltner argued that the report should be set aside because it didn’t make any finding as to whether the division would materially damage a party, it didn’t reveal the property’s value or methodology used, and the division wasn’t proportionate to the parties’ ownership interests.

The report issued was sparse in information and didn’t find whether dividing the land would cause material damage to a party, as the commissioners were instructed to do. However, that the commissioners recommended a division at all indicates that they believed the land could be fairly divided, wrote Judge Terry Crone. The report is technically inadequate because it didn’t include information and reasoning supporting their suggested apportion, which helps the trial court make a reasoned decision to confirm or deny and helps parties decide whether to challenge the report, he wrote.

The commissioners were also told to maintain a file of all information supporting the report, and this information was discoverable to the parties. There’s no indication in the record that Giltner tried to access this information.

Giltner hasn’t showed that he was prejudiced, so he is not entitled to reversal, the appellate court ruled.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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