Landowner Issues

Lake Michigan private, public land rights clash before COA

September 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Long Beach, Indiana, is at the center of a landmark dispute between public access and private property rights to the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan.
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COA orders couple to pay fees to lot owner’s association

September 13, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a couple to pay a Bartholomew County lot owner’s association $6,000 in assessment fees despite the couple’s claim that they are not members of the association.
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Pokemon goes to court in backyard monster trespassing case

August 3, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A New Jersey resident with a pocket monster in his backyard filed what may be the first lawsuit against Niantic Inc. and Nintendo Co. for unleashing Pokemon Go across the U.S., claiming that players are coming to his home uninvited in their race to “catch ’em all.”
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Lake Michigan property line dispute arguments set

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
A dispute over whether the public has a right to walk the beach along Lake Michigan or private property extends to the water’s edge will be heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals Sept. 5.
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COA: Buyers had notice property was under lease

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that because sellers of a Crawford County property had recorded their assignment of lease in the recorder’s office, buyers of the property had actual or constructive notice that the sellers didn’t own the land.
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COA: Couple proved adverse possession of land along fence

June 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute between neighbors over a property line, the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that a Johnson County couple satisfied the elements needed to be successful in their adverse possession and quiet title counterclaim.
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Appeals court reverses its decision on partition fences

May 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals overturned an earlier decision Thursday, finding residents that border a property where a man wants to build fences to keep his cattle in must help fund the fences because they are partition fences and fall under Indiana Code 32-26-9.
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Couple must pay taxes on home even if it wasn’t completed

May 5, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Tax Court upheld a decision Wednesday from the Indiana Board of Tax Review which said a couple must pay taxes on their residence whether or not it was completed.
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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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COA: Wood boiler cannot be used while court case is pending

February 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a preliminary injunction sought by a couple, finding they could stop neighbors from using an outside wood boiler during their legal action.
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COA: Neither party entitled to summary judgment in ‘household’ definition dispute

February 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held summary judgment is inappropriate for either party in a lawsuit seeking to declare a woman who was renting a home as a member of the household of the homeowners for insurance purposes.
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Justices: Couple not entitled to prescriptive easement

February 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the holding of a trial court that a couple should receive a prescriptive easement for the use of their outbuildings that encroached onto a strip of land purchased at a tax sale.
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Party not aggrieved by vacation of alley by university

February 12, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision by the Angola Plan Commission to vacate a portion of an alley on Trine University property, finding property owners were not aggrieved by the vacation.
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Hoosier’s quest to reach public road ends at 7th Circuit

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The owner of a piece of southern Indiana property who could not reach his land because neighbors would not permit him to drive across their properties has lost his attempt to get to a main road.
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Court orders portion of roof removed due to trespass

February 5, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict in a trespass and negligence lawsuit brought in a dispute over water draining from a housing development into neighboring property. In doing so, the judges ordered part of a roof to come down due to trespass.
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Woman breached settlement in trail construction dispute

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that a Yorktown resident breached the terms of a settlement she reached with the town over easements to construct storm sewers and a residential trail when she declined to donate the easement for the trail unless other conditions were met.
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Deed allows owners to make wells deeper, court rules

October 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A family that sold mineral rights to a company but reserved the rights to oil and gas from certain producing wells was not restricted by the deed from making the reserved wells deeper, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Columbus landowner loses appeal of subdivision denial

August 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
The city of Columbus Plan Commission did not abdicate its authority to a resident’s neighbors when it denied an application to subdivide a piece of property into three lots of about one acre apiece.
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Judge: Landowners can't keep public off Lake Michigan beach

July 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A man who owns a piece of Indiana’s short stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline and said he had “complete and exclusive ownership” of its beachfront holds no such right and cannot deny the public access to that space, a judge has ruled.

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COA: Petitioner entitled to tax deed after completing all steps

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
An entity that bought two properties at a tax sale fulfilled all the requisite steps to acquire ownership of the parcels, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, rejecting an appeal from the trust that previously owned the properties.
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Parties’ oral modification of land agreement unenforceable

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision by a trial court finding an oral agreement between a buyer and seller that modified a written land contract had to be in writing based on the Statute of Frauds and that the buyer defaulted on the terms of the agreement.
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Property owners have no duty for tenant’s free-running dog

May 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the landlords provided the means to restrain the tenant's dog, they are not responsible for the injuries a motorcyclist sustained when the pooch dashed into the road and caused an accident.
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Tax Court affirms Zionsville office assessment

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Tax Court on Thursday affirmed the real estate assessment of an office building on Zionsville’s Main Street in Boone County.
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Landowners not prejudiced by approval of wind turbine project

May 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that landowners in Wells County who lived next to property that will house wind turbines were not prejudiced by the zoning decision to allow the project to proceed.
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COA orders judgment in favor of woman on adverse possession claim

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is evidence that both the woman who purchased land from a trust and the trustee paid taxes on a disputed 1.8 acres of land for at least 10 years, the woman’s claim for adverse possession of the land should be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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