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Order to demolish home reversed by Court of Appeals

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A couple whose lakeside house was built at a different elevation than specified in the site development plan will not be able to call the wrecking crew yet.

Fishers residents Michael and Melody Bogan sued the developer of Lake Stonebridge subdivision and the homebuilder after their home’s lower level flooded twice. The site development plan called for the lower-level elevation of their home to be at 789 feet, but to accommodate a change the Bogans requested, the basement’s finished floor elevation was 788.04 feet.

After the trial court awarded the homeowners partial summary judgment against the homebuilder, Trinity Homes LLC, and the subdivision developers, Land Innovators L.P., and R.N. Thompson, the Bogans filed a motion requesting, in part, the court allow the home to be removed from the lot.

The trial court granted the motion but stayed the order pending appeal.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed in Land Innovators Company, L.P., R.N. Thompson, Trinity Homes, Inc. and Trinity Homes, LLC d/b/a Beazer Homes v. Michael L. Bogan and Melody A. Bogan, 29A05-1306-PL-308. The COA ruled the trial court’s decision was improper without the presentation of evidence.

On appeal, Land Innovators, Thompson and Trinity Homes argued other alternatives besides removal of the home are available to remedy the problem.  

“Whether the appellants’ contentions on this point are correct is a matter we need not address,” Judge Margret Robb wrote for the court. “However, we agree that the appellants should have the opportunity to present evidence regarding other potential remedies and that the trial court must make a proper determination that injunctive relief is appropriate in this case.”

The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment to the Bogans on liability for negligence, negligence per se, breach of contract and breach of covenants against Trinity. The COA also upheld summary judgment to the Bogans for breach of covenants against Land Innovators and Thompson.  

In addition, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Bogans’ claim of constructive fraud against Trinity and their claim of negligence against the developers. Finally, the COA affirmed the denial of the developers’ claim for indemnification.  



 
 

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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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