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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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