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Court erred, twice rejected settlement in covenant case

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A trial court erred in denying a homeowners association’s request for an injunction against a resident who parked a trailer on her lot. The court then twice rejected joint settlement requests, according to a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The COA sent Avon Trails Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Kellie Homeier, 32A01-1307-PL-312, back to Hendricks Circuit Judge Jeffrey V. Boles with instructions to enter the settlement agreement the parties reached after Avon Trails appealed Boles’ denial of a preliminary injunction the association sought to enforce a restrictive covenant that applied to members of Avon Trails.

Judge Elaine Brown noted “the peculiar procedural posture of this case” in which the court denied the injunction request, which the court said was clearly erroneous, then “on multiple occasions refused the parties’ overtures” to settle. Homeier agreed to abide by terms of the covenant and Avon Trails would drop the case and any claim for court costs or legal fees.

“Instead of accepting the proposed settlement expressed in the Joint Motion to vacate its order, enter a permanent injunction, and end any proceedings at the appellate court level, the court in its CCS entries on May 3 and July 1, 2013, opted to leave in place its interpretation of the Covenant as expressed in its Order," Brown wrote for the panel that also included Chief Judge Margret Robb and Judge Michael Barnes.
 
"It was error for the court to refuse to accept the parties’ Joint Motion," Brown wrote. "We remand with instructions to the court to vacate its original order and enter an order substituting the applicable language of the Joint Motion."

 

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