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COA: Court should hear petition involving pet daycare

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The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday ordered a Marion County court to hear the merits of a hotel’s petition for judicial review of the zoning board’s decision to grant a variance to a develop a pet daycare facility next door to the hotel.

The Marion County Metropolitan Development Commission Board of Zoning Appeals granted Myers Y. Cooper Corp.’s request for a variance to build the pet daycare in Indianapolis. I-465 LLC, owner of an adjacent Hilton Homewood Suits Hotel, protested, arguing noise caused by the pets would disrupt guests. I-465 LLC’s parent company, HRC Hotels LLC, timely filed a petition for judicial review.

Myers Cooper claimed the parent company lacked standing to file the petition for judicial review. After the 30-day deadline to file a review petition had passed, HRC Hotels filed a motion to amend the petition to substitute I-465 LLC as the real party in interest. The trial court dismissed the petition, concluding HRC Hotels lacked standing to file the petition for judicial review, so the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction.

The Court of Appeals reversed in HRC Hotels, LLC v. Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals Division II of Marion County, Indiana, Jeffrey R. Baumgarth and The Myers Y. Cooper Company, 49A04-1307-PL-313.

“Here, the fact that HRC Hotels lacks standing because it did not appear before the BZA is not a ‘real jurisdictional problem.’ We understand real jurisdictional problems to be when the trial court renders a decision in a case that it has not been granted the power to decide,” Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote.

The lack of standing at the time the petition is filed is a procedural error, she continued, that does not deprive the court of jurisdiction to hear the petition. The trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction over HRC Hotels’ petition independent of whether HRC Hotels may have lacked standing when it filed its petition.

“Here, I-465 LLC, as the owner of the hotel adjacent to the Property, is a true owner of the right sought to be enforced. Moreover, HRC Hotels filed its motion to amend its petition and substitute I-465 LLC as the real party in interest exactly thirty days after Myers Cooper filed its motion to dismiss for lack of standing,” she wrote. “Because this Court allowed a substitution under Trial Rule 17(A)(2) sixty-four days after the defendant objected, we find a substitution after thirty days to be reasonable.”

 

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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