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COA orders bank’s cause of action reinstated

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A Howard Superior Court erred in denying a bank’s motion for relief from the court’s quiet title decree finding the bank no longer held any interest in certain real property owned by a divorcing couple, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

In Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., as Trustee under the pooling and servicing agreement dated as of Nov. 1, 2002, Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I Inc. Trust 2002-HE3 v. Patricia Harris and Shawn Harris, 34A02-1206-MF-467, Deutsche Bank filed a complaint on note and to foreclose on real estate owned by Patricia and Shawn Harris, alleging they were in default. Both Shawn and Patricia Harris filed counterclaims fighting the foreclosure. The case languished for nearly a year without any activity, leading to a Trial Rule 41(E) motion by the court for purposes of dismissing the complaint. The bank’s counsel did not appear at the hearing and the judge dismissed the complaint with prejudice. Shawn Harris’ attorney proposed an order for quiet title on the property, which the court later issued.

The bank sought relief from judgment, which was denied, noting in part the bank didn’t file its motion for relief until nearly a year had passed.

“While the Property and the Bank’s security interest in the Property pursuant to the Mortgage, as well as the parties’ obligations pursuant to the Note, were important to the division of the marital estate in the Borrowers’ divorce proceedings, we decline to find that the reinstatement of the Bank’s claim or the reversal of the Quiet Title Decree would prejudice the Borrowers to an extent that such a reinstatement or reversal would be unreasonable or unjust under the circumstances,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote.

“As previously mentioned, even if the court dismissed the Bank’s current action with prejudice under Trial Rule 41(E), the Bank would not be precluded from later filing a claim under the Note and Mortgage in connection with separate alleged defaults by the Borrowers. We therefore conclude that the court did not have the authority to enter the Quiet Title Decree to the extent that it ruled or ordered that the Bank no longer held any interest in the Property under the Mortgage or that the Note was cancelled, and the court erred or abused its discretion in denying the Bank’s motion for relief from judgment on that basis,” she continued.

The case is remanded for further proceedings.

 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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