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Court of Appeals cites snail mail as reason for overturning summary judgment

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While neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep the U.S. Postal Service from its appointed rounds, the Indiana Court of Appeals reminded a lower court that trial rules allow for three extra days when motions are sent by mail.

The Court of Appeals overturned a Marion Superior Court’s denial of a motion to correct error in Anthony E. Boyd v. WHTIV, Inc. and Walter Tarr, IV, 49A05-1303-PL-107, ruling that Boyd did file in a timely manner his motion for an extension of time to respond to a summary judgment motion.

WHTIV and Tarr argued that Boyd filed his motion 33 days after they filed their motion for summary judgment. This was three days beyond the 30-day limit established in Indiana Trial Rule 56 (F) or Trial Rule 56 (I).

In addition, the pair cited DeLage Landen Financial Services, Inc. v. Community Mental Health Center, 965 N.E.2d 693 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) in asserting that Trial Rule 6(E) does not apply. Trial Rule 56 exclusively controls the timing of summary judgment proceedings.

The Court of Appeals pointed to State v. Gonzalez-Vazquez, 984 N.E.2d 704, 706 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) which addressed the scope of the DeLage decision.  

There, the appeals court faulted the post-conviction court for broadly interpreting DeLage to mean that no provision of Trial Rule 6 could be applicable in summary judgment proceedings.

Using Gonzalez-Vazquez as a guide, the Court of Appeals agreed with Boyd that the three-day extension provided in Trial Rule 6(E) applied to his request for an extension of time. Therefore, Boyd’s motion was not untimely and the trial court should not have denied his motion to correct error.

Furthermore, the Court of Appeals, finding the grant of summary judgment was premature, also reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of WHTIV and Tarr.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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