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Court rules in favor of town in disannexation suit

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The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a town in a disannexation order because the plaintiffs in the case didn't file their complaint for relief until after the statute of limitations had run out.

In Town of Cloverdale v. Scott Renner, et al.,No. 67A01-0804-CV-206, four tracts of land belonging to Scott Renner and other plaintiffs were annexed in 1991. Renner and the others claim they received no notice of the annexation and weren't aware of it until 1999 after examining tax statements. They claim they haven't received any services due to them under the annexation, and brought the suit for disannexation, injunction, and damages in March 2006. The trial court ruled in favor of the landowners.

On appeal, Cloverdale argued Renner and the others couldn't bring their suit because the statute of limitations had run, as pursuant to Indiana Code Section 36-4-3-16(a). Based on that statute, the landowners should have filed suit by March 21, 1995. Even if the statute of limitations had tolled, they should have filed by 2000, one year after they claim they discovered the annexation.

The appellate court rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the doctrine of continued wrong prevented the statute of limitations from running out and that the doctrine of estoppel should prevent Cloverdale from raising the statute of limitations defense.

"Inasmuch as the one-year statute of limitations had long since elapsed when the appellees filed their complaint, the trial court erroneously entered judgment in their favor. Given that the legislature has decided that the appellees' claims are time-barred, we need not and will not consider the substance of their arguments," wrote Chief Judge John Baker.

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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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