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Brown County logging damages award stands

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A landowner’s award of $55,572.50 in damages caused by a logging contractor at a property in Brown County was properly calculated, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Greenwood resident Ruth Sheek was alerted by neighbors near her second home – a lakefront cabin on 53 wooded acres in Brown County – that she needed to come see damage done by a logging contractor she had hired to harvest mature trees. Sheek arrived to find a deeply rutted staging area, damaged standing trees, discarded treetops and trunks, and debris that blocked access to the water.

Upset, she ordered the workers to leave, but they didn’t until a few months after her lawyer sent them a cease-and-desist letter. She sued for breach of contract and the logging firm countersued, claiming it was improperly barred from harvesting the timber Sheek allowed it to take.

Sheek claimed she thought her property was worth $500,000 before the damages and $100,000 afterward, but a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Brown Circuit Judge Judith Stewart properly found the damages in Ruth Sheek v. Mark A Morin Logging, Inc.,  07A01-1211-PL-509.

Stewart arrived at the damages award using the estimate of a real estate appraiser who said cost of remediation was about $75,000. Stewart added $5,000 to restore a stone path to the lake, then subtracted $20,427.50 in remediation costs the logging firm performed and $4,000 for the value of trees Morin Logging Co. was unable to harvest.

“Because the evidence shows that damages still remained to Ruth’s property after (a subcontractor’s) remediation work, it was reasonable for the trial court to subtract the amount … spent on remediation from the $75,000 estimate to determine the amount that Morin Logging still owed,” Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote for the court.

“The trial court’s damage award is supported by the evidence,” she concluded.      
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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