Judges order more proceedings in low-income apartment tax credit case

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Because there are genuine issues of material fact regarding claims made against apartment management company Flaherty & Collins in a complaint alleging fraud and other charges dealing with renting apartments to people who did not qualify based on income requirements, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings on the case.

In Flaherty & Collins, Inc. v. BBR-Vision I, L.P., and New Castle Realty, LLC, 49A05-1111-PL-569, F&C entered into a management agreement with BBR-Vision I to manage Autumn Oaks in New Castle as an independent contractor. BBR owns the complex, in which a majority of the apartments are designated as low-income units, qualifying them for tax credits under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. New Castle Realty and BBR had a partnership agreement.

F&C hired several on-site employees, including a manager, and F&C was required to obtain income certifications and verify them before renting to someone. In September 2001, F&C discovered that a previous onsite manager may have forged a resident’s income documents from his employer to make him eligible to live in the low-income apartment. Other instances were discovered of people in apartments they did not financially qualify to live in. BBR was informed in November of the issues, which were a concern because BBR and its members could lose tax credits if the IRS conducted an audit and demanded a recapture.

In January 2002, BBR fired F&C as manager. In April of that year, BBR and NCR sued F&C alleging breach of contract, negligent supervision, indemnity, fraud and civil recovery of treble damages by a crime victim pursuant to the Crime Victims Statute.

On interlocutory appeal, F&C appealed the trial court’s ruling that evidence shows F&C’s conduct violated the Crime Victims Statute, that NCR had standing to assert its claim as a third-party beneficiary, and that the indemnity clause in the management agreement between F&C and BBR required F&C to pay BBR's and NCR’s attorney fees.

The COA reversed the trial court’s interpretation that Section 12(a) of the agreement requires F&C to pay attorney fees for first-party actions. The language of that section doesn’t create an exception to the general rule that an indemnity clause creates liability to pay only for third-party actions, Senior Judge Carr Darden wrote.

The appeals court also found the trial court erred in making findings that effectively granted summary judgment to BBR and NCR on the issue of whether they could recover damages under the Crime Victims Statute because there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the F&C’s employee’s action or BBR and NCR’s inaction cause any pecuniary loss to the companies. It also reversed what was effectively summary judgment on the issue of whether F&C committed deception.

The judges affirmed the decision that NCR had standing in this action. The partnership agreement between NCR and BBR and management agreement between F&C and BBR establish that the parties clearly intended to benefit NCR and that the duty imposed on F&C was in favor of NCR. NCR’s receipt of money and tax benefits depended on F&C’s performance of its responsibilities under the partnership and management agreements, Darden wrote.

The case is remanded for further proceedings.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

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  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.