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Judges affirm $40,000 judgment in lawsuit involving neighbors

May 9, 2014

Noting the grounds on which a defendant sought relief from a $40,000 default judgment are unclear, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the man must pay his neighbor that amount.

George Niederkorn sued Dan Weaver for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Niederkorn attempted to serve Weaver by first-class mail and certified mail. In October 2012, Niederkorn personally served a copy of the complaint and summons on Weaver at his residence, which is across the hall from Niederkorn’s resident in a condominium complex.

A default judgment was entered in December after Weaver failed to respond. The judge in the case received a letter from Weaver dated the day before the default judgment was entered claiming he just received a letter and copy of the motion for default judgment. The trial court twice continued the evidentiary hearing on damages per Weaver’s request, but after he or an attorney failed to appear at a March 2013 hearing, the judge entered default judgment of $40,366.18 against Weaver.

Weaver later claimed he didn’t show up because he had jury duty; the judge checked and he had not been called for duty on the date of the hearing.  Weaver filed a motion to correct error, which was denied.

In Dan Weaver v. George Niederkorn, 49A05-1309-CT-448, the judges noted the grounds on which Weaver sought relief are unclear, but whether they look at it under T.R. 60(B) (1) or (6), Weaver has not established reversible error.

Weaver cited no authority to support his claim that Niederkorn’s personal service upon him was insufficient to confer personal jurisdiction and the judges refused to reweigh the evidence regarding whether the complaint was credible.

 

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