Real Estate/Construction

Former Whitestown-based builders charged with $1.2M in fraud

June 6, 2016
IBJ Staff
The co-owners of a Whitestown-based homebuilder that filed for bankruptcy in 2013 have been arrested and charged with theft, corrupt business influence, perjury and forgery, Indiana State Police announced Saturday.
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Trump says he’ll win lawsuit over his real estate school

June 1, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Donald J. Trump claimed he’ll win a lawsuit alleging his namesake real-estate school swindled students as documents unsealed in a related racketeering case showed the hard sell given hesitant prospects.
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Although unlicensed in county, contractor still owed for work

May 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a contractor violated the Home Improvement Contracts Act when he misled a family into thinking he was locally licensed and voided the contract between the two. However, the court said he should still be paid for the work he did because the family would be unjustly enriched if he was not paid.
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Contract’s ambiguities win homeowners a reversal

May 31, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Owners of a shabbily built house will get another chance to hold their architects accountable for the construction headaches after the Indiana Court of Appeals found there are questions of material fact that should be considered.
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Chicago man sues over fatal plunge at destroyed Indiana span

May 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A Chicago man whose wife died when he drove off a road leading to a demolished northwestern Indiana bridge claims in a lawsuit that not enough was done to block the roadway.
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Developer Alig avoids prison time with plea deal

May 2, 2016
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
A prominent Indianapolis developer who pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of securities fraud received a four-year suspended sentence Monday morning and was ordered to repay victims $321,000.
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China: Can't sue Cabinet-level agency over Chinese drywall

April 22, 2016
 Associated Press
China's Ministry of Justice has sent back a lawsuit in which thousands of U.S. homeowners in six states say a Cabinet-level agency should pay for damage to their homes from defective drywall made in China.
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COA: Man can keep $25,000 deposit

April 6, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man can keep the $25,000 deposit paid to him after a real estate sale did not through, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The contract the parties entered into was enforceable and did not specify financing as part of the sale.
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Indy Rezone creates roadmap for city’s future

April 6, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
New ordinance allows secondary dwellings and encourages denser neighborhoods.
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Attorney lands series on HGTV with her daughter

March 30, 2016
IBJ Staff
Mother-daughter team Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak, who own Indianapolis-based renovation business Two Chicks and a Hammer Inc., have landed their own television series on HGTV.
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COA: Contract can be rescinded after land misrepresented

March 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a rental company could rescind its purchasing contract for a tract of land after the company that owned the land misrepresented it to the buyer.
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Ruling: Simon must face anti-trust suit from competitor

March 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group must face an anti-trust lawsuit from a competitor that developed a northern Indiana shopping center near a Simon mall, a federal judge has ruled.
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COA: Attorneys can rely upon representations of other attorneys

March 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed a two-decades-old Indiana Supreme Court ruling, saying attorneys are entitled to rely upon the representations of other attorneys when it ruled on a case where a company was charged a higher price for a piece of property than it should have been because of the price the property’s attorney gave to the company.
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7th Circuit: Developer's appeal is frivolous

March 1, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a man’s claim that the National Bank of Indianapolis covered up unauthorized transfers is frivolous and said the bank can pursue sanctions against the man because of it.
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Apartment residents sue over broken elevator

February 11, 2016
IL Staff
The owners of an apartment complex who took nearly two months to repair a broken elevator, leaving residents with disabilities essentially stranded in their apartments, have been sued over the summer 2015 incident.
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Appeals court clarifies home improvement contract ruling

February 10, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted a homeowner’s request for rehearing, but reaffirmed that he is not entitled to summary judgment over the installation of a pool in an allegedly incorrect location.
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Indiana AG sues 3 companies in alleged tax-sale scheme

February 3, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana is suing three out-of-state companies for allegedly orchestrating a scheme that bilked dozens of state residents out of millions of dollars after their homes were sold in tax sales.
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Court affirms in part lien priority ruling

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly concluded that a living trust, which held a purchase-money mortgage over a property in question, had first priority in enforcing a lien against the property, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals court hears injured worker's bid for lost earnings

January 7, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney for a Mexican man who's seeking lost future earnings for a workplace back injury told the Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday that his client should be allowed to pursue those wages at U.S. pay rates instead of rates in his home country.
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Marion County residents mount court challenge to stop project

December 22, 2015
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Three Ransom Place residents in Indianapolis are challenging the city’s approval of a large residential project planned for the neighborhood and are asking a Marion County judge to stop the $10 million development.
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Complex legal efforts part of groundwork for 2 new bridges across Ohio River

December 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Hoosier attorneys and their Kentucky colleagues had to find ways to write agreements to bring four state highway and financing agencies together to cooperate across state lines in a manner that complied with their own statutes.
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More proceedings necessary in mortgage foreclosure action

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there are genuine issues of material fact as to the fair market value of a property at the time of sale and the true amount of indebtedness on a promissory note, a trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor a bank on its foreclosure action, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Indianapolis real-estate developer pleads guilty to fraud

December 9, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis real-estate developer has pleaded guilty to theft and fraud charges involving $340,000.
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Johnson gets 5-year sentence in Indy Land Bank case

December 7, 2015
IBJ Staff
David Johnson, who was found guilty of wire fraud and money laundering as part of the Indy Land Bank scandal, was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison Friday by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence.
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COA: property conveyed with a restrictive covenant

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday had to determine whether the conveyance of a school for park and recreational use was done so by a restrictive covenant or a fee simple with condition subsequent.
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  1. Actually, and most strikingly, the ruling failed to address the central issue to the whole case: Namely, Black Knight/LPS, who was NEVER a party to the State court litigation, and who is under a 2013 consent judgment in Indiana (where it has stipulated to the forgery of loan documents, the ones specifically at issue in my case)never disclosed itself in State court or remediated the forged loan documents as was REQUIRED of them by the CJ. In essence, what the court is willfully ignoring, is that it is setting a precedent that the supplier of a defective product, one whom is under a consent judgment stipulating to such, and under obligation to remediate said defective product, can: 1.) Ignore the CJ 2.) Allow counsel to commit fraud on the state court 3.) Then try to hide behind Rooker Feldman doctrine as a bar to being held culpable in federal court. The problem here is the court is in direct conflict with its own ruling(s) in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings & Iqbal- 780 F.3d 728, at 730 “What Johnson adds - what the defendants in this suit have failed to appreciate—is that federal courts retain jurisdiction to award damages for fraud that imposes extrajudicial injury. The Supreme Court drew that very line in Exxon Mobil ... Iqbal alleges that the defendants conducted a racketeering enterprise that predates the state court’s judgments ...but Exxon Mobil shows that the Rooker Feldman doctrine asks what injury the plaintiff asks the federal court to redress, not whether the injury is “intertwined” with something else …Because Iqbal seeks damages for activity that (he alleges) predates the state litigation and caused injury independently of it, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not block this suit. It must be reinstated.” So, as I already noted to others, I now have the chance to bring my case to SCOTUS; the ruling by Wood & Posner is flawed on numerous levels,BUT most troubling is the fact that the authors KNOW it's a flawed ruling and choose to ignore the flaws for one simple reason: The courts have decided to agree with former AG Eric Holder that national banks "Are too big to fail" and must win at any cost-even that of due process, case precedent, & the truth....Let's see if SCOTUS wants a bite at the apple.

  2. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  3. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Please I need help with my class action lawsuits, im currently in pro-se and im having hard time findiNG A LAWYER TO ASSIST ME

  5. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

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