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COA holds volunteer caretaker not entitled to damages

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that a man was not entitled to damages for taking care of a blighted property.

In Robert Holland, A Concerned Citizen for the Redevelopment of Gary v. Richard Steele, Barbara Steele, First Midwest Bank, As Successor Trustee By Way of Merger to Bank Calumet, N.A., et al., No. 45A03-1102-PL-84, Robert Holland raised 13 issues on appeal, which the COA found did not correspond with the substance of the argument section of his brief.

Holland rented a home in Gary, Ind., on a block where many homes became vacant due to foreclosure between 2002 and 2009. Holland claimed he had made improvements to a nearby vacant home totaling $75,000, yet was unable to provide documentation of those expenses.

On May 29, 2009, Holland, identifying himself as a concerned citizen for the redevelopment of Gary, filed his Complaint for Foreclosure of Lien for Costs of Abating Nuisance and the Decrease in Value of Property. He claimed the prior owners of the home were liable for his expenses. First Midwest Bank filed a motion to intervene because it was the title-holder on the vacant home.

The trial court granted the bank’s motion for summary judgment and declared a common law lien filed by Holland to be invalid. The court denied his motion to correct error and motion for relief from judgment and awarded attorney fees in the amount of $400. The COA affirmed the trial court on those decisions.

The COA denied a cross-appeal from the bank requesting appellate attorney fees, holding that the bank did not properly upkeep the property and that inaction gave rise to the litigation of Holland’s complaint.

 

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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