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COA reverses trial court in estate case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment to parties whose attorney did not notify opposing counsel that a motion had been filed.

In George Clements v. Kimberly Hall and Stanley Harmon, No. 06A04-1106-MI-282, George Clements appealed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Kimberly Hall and Stanley Harmon. Clements, Hall and Harmon were all due to receive property, as outlined in Arthur and Mary Lou Clements’ trust.

Arthur and Mary Lou Clements died in 2006 and 2008, and in July 2010, George Clements filed a personal representative’s deed as executive of the estate of Arthur Clements, deeding property to himself for $10. In August, Hall and Harmon’s attorney, Arvin Foland, filed an appearance and claim for quiet title, constructive trust and partition of the property, contending the deed George Clements filed was improper. Hall and Harmon argued the deed should be deemed a cloud upon the title to the property and that the property should be held in constructive trust until it could be sold and the proceeds divided.  

The court entered an order granting summary judgment for Hall and Harmon and disposing of the case. Nothing in the record indicates Clements or his attorney were served with the motion for summary judgment or received notice of any proceedings on the motion.

Clements then filed a motion for relief from judgment, and the trial court denied it.

Hall and Harmon contend their attorney discussed the claim with Clements’ attorney, but they did not say that Foland served Clements or his attorney with the motion for summary judgment or in any way notified Clements when it was filed.

The Court of Appeals held that Foland knew Clements had an attorney and was therefore obligated to provide notice. Accordingly, it reversed the trial court and remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

 

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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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