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COA affirms trial court in land rental dispute

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a tenant who was not given adequate notice to vacate rented land.

In The Guardianship of Harold G. Gardner, Scott A. Gardner, Guardian v. Carl Prochno, No. 50A03-1108-PL-385, Carl Prochno rented 480 acres of farm land in Marshall County. On April 11, 2010, Prochno received a Notice to Terminate Tenancy for half of that acreage from Scott Gardner, who is Harold Gardner’s son, guardian and attorney-in-fact.

On Dec. 6, 2010, Prochno’s attorney sent a letter to Scott Gardner and the attorney for Harold Gardner’s guardianship requesting confirmation that the notice to terminate applied only to 240 acres. On Jan. 27, 2011, Scott sent Prochno an amended notice to terminate, including the additional 240 acres excluded from the original notice.

The COA wrote that Marshall County custom is that a farm lease is a year-to-year tenancy that commences on March 1 each year. And pursuant to Indiana Code 32-31-1, written notice to terminate a year-to-year tenancy must be tendered not less than three months before the expiration of the year.

While Prochno agreed that the first notice had been timely – well in advance of the March 1, 2011, expiration of the year-to-year agreement, the latest date the amended notice could have been filed was Nov. 30, 2010. The appellate court agreed, affirming summary judgment in favor of Prochno.  

 

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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