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Judges affirm $40,000 judgment in lawsuit involving neighbors

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Noting the grounds on which a defendant sought relief from a $40,000 default judgment are unclear, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the man must pay his neighbor that amount.

George Niederkorn sued Dan Weaver for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Niederkorn attempted to serve Weaver by first-class mail and certified mail. In October 2012, Niederkorn personally served a copy of the complaint and summons on Weaver at his residence, which is across the hall from Niederkorn’s resident in a condominium complex.

A default judgment was entered in December after Weaver failed to respond. The judge in the case received a letter from Weaver dated the day before the default judgment was entered claiming he just received a letter and copy of the motion for default judgment. The trial court twice continued the evidentiary hearing on damages per Weaver’s request, but after he or an attorney failed to appear at a March 2013 hearing, the judge entered default judgment of $40,366.18 against Weaver.

Weaver later claimed he didn’t show up because he had jury duty; the judge checked and he had not been called for duty on the date of the hearing.  Weaver filed a motion to correct error, which was denied.

In Dan Weaver v. George Niederkorn, 49A05-1309-CT-448, the judges noted the grounds on which Weaver sought relief are unclear, but whether they look at it under T.R. 60(B) (1) or (6), Weaver has not established reversible error.

Weaver cited no authority to support his claim that Niederkorn’s personal service upon him was insufficient to confer personal jurisdiction and the judges refused to reweigh the evidence regarding whether the complaint was credible.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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