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High court takes 4 cases

February 14, 2011

The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted four cases on transfer, including one in which they released an opinion on the matter the same day they granted transfer.

On Feb. 8, the justices took Mariea L. Best v. Russell C. Best, No. 06S05-1102-CV-73 and released an opinion upholding modification of physical custody of their daughter to Russell Best.

On February 10, they granted transfer to three more cases – Misty D. Davis v. Animal Control – City of Evansville, et al., No. 82S01-1102-CV-77; Mary Beth & Perry Lucas v. U.S. Bank N.A., et al., No. 28S01-1102-CV-78; and Rod L. Avery, et al. v. Trina Avery, No. 49S05-1102-PL-76.

In Davis, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed in a not-for-publication opinion summary judgment for the city defendants in this action following injuries Shawn Davis received from a dog bite. At issue was whether the defendants had immunity from this claim. The majority ruled no, and Judge Kirsch dissented, holding the underlying action falls within the immunity set forth in Indiana Code Section 34-13-3-3(8).

In Lucas, the Court of Appeals held on interlocutory appeal that the Lucases, whose home was being foreclosed on, are entitled to a jury trial on their legal claims against their mortgage holder and loan servicer. The judges relied on Songer v. Civitas Bank, 771 N.E.2d 61, 63 (Ind. 2002), to find they are entitled to a jury trial on their claims of conversion and deception, alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, and other state and federal statutory law and state common law claims.

In Avery, the appellate judges addressed an issue of first impression and held that a will contest is a civil action and a defendant in this type of action is required to file an answer or plead to a complaint as provided by the state’s trial rules.

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