Tenant and Landlord Dispute

Church not entitled to $322,000 on breach of contract claim

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it determined that a church was entitled to $322,000 on its breach of contract claim after its building lessor ordered the church to vacate the premises before the end of its contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Tenant does not have obligation to indemnify landlord

June 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a tenant did not have to indemnify a landlord against a woman’s personal injury claims after she filed suit against both of them.
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How to solve the housing crisis: more lawyers

April 8, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The solution to a homelessness crisis that has accompanied the drop in affordable housing is to hire more lawyers: Give poor renters an attorney, and landlords will more likely settle eviction cases. Homelessness will fall, and the strain on city services will be relieved. Or so goes the logic.
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Court decision paves way for displaced pizza shop's trial

January 18, 2016
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Enzo Pizza’s long-simmering legal battle with the Indianapolis City Market finally is headed to trial after the eatery won a partial court victory this month against its former landlord.
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Roommate’s liability in early exit from lease rightly decided

September 22, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who appealed a small claims court order against her former live-in boyfriend failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he owed her more money for moving out before their apartment lease was up.
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COA reverses lease judgment for tenant, finds for landlord

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A medical office that leased space from a landlord lost a judgment in its favor in a dispute over owed rent. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered judgment in favor of the property owner.
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Justices vacate transfer in insurance dispute

February 11, 2015
IL Staff
A divided Indiana Supreme Court decided last week that it will no longer take an insurance case involving a landlord and tenant that also divided the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Lack of evidence allows periodontists to leave office space

January 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Having failed to produce sufficient evidence that the terms of a lease agreement had been waived, a landlord will have to allow a pair of tenants to vacate the property with no financial penalty.
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Court adopts case-by-case approach in subrogation issue

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after skirting around the issue in 2012, decided that Indiana should use the case-by-case approach to address subrogation claims of landlords’ insurers against negligent tenants.
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Tenant who trashed house loses appeal, owes attorney fees

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former babysitter entrusted to live in a family’s home while they were away for a year and care for their pet dog in exchange for paying $300 monthly rent instead trashed the place. The ex-tenant appealed an $85,889 judgment against her but now has more bills to pay.
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COA sets aside auction of mobile homes

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the sale of several mobile homes through an auction in Hendricks County after finding the buyer did not comply with statutory requirements regarding timelines for conducting an auction.
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Insurance dispute divides Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s finding that a landlord was not covered by the tenant’s insurance policy.
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Mom can’t receive damages based on daughter’s injuries caused by mold

July 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a compensatory damage award of $20,000 to the parents of an adult daughter who was sickened by mold growing in her apartment after finding the facts of the case don’t support the amount awarded.
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Owner of Anderson location yanks suit against Motel 6

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Owners of an Anderson hotel that has operated as a Motel 6 since its construction in 1974 – but soon won’t –  withdrew a federal lawsuit Tuesday that claimed the national chain had not maintained the site “as a first class motel” required under its decades-old lease.
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Landlords timely delivered itemized damages notice to former tenants

June 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The date a tenant provides her forwarding address to her landlord triggers the 45-day period the landlord has to deliver the itemized damages to the tenant, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA: Insurer has no liability for dog bite injuries

December 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of Auto-Owners Insurance Co. on the issue of whether it had liability to cover the damages sought by the parents of a boy bit by a dog on the insured’s property. The person residing at the home, whose dog bit the boy, was not considered an insured under the policy.
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COA reversal: Property manager can’t keep renter’s late fees

November 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A property owner’s lawsuit seeking a class action against a property management company that kept late fees paid by renters was revived by the Court of Appeals on Wednesday. The appellate panel reversed dismissal of the suit and ordered further proceedings.
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Retailer properly terminated lease, COA rules in reversal

November 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A retail chain that closed an underperforming store in a Hendricks County shopping center had a contractual right to do so under its lease, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in reversing a judgment in favor of the plaza owner.
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Sub shop’s appeal 86’d by court

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Jersey Mike’s Subs located in the now-closed College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend didn’t have the right to continue operating in the Hall of Fame building, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the operating agreement.
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Trouble with the Curves: Ex-husband still owes for franchise’s default

February 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A couple’s failure to inform a landlord of their divorce doesn’t excuse the ex-husband from a default judgment on rent payments for a health club that his former wife continued to run.
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COA orders continuation of insurer’s case against tenant

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because Indiana law does not currently preclude a landlord’s insurer from bringing a subrogation claim against a tenant and a landlord’s complaint established a set of circumstances under which it would be entitled to relief, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of a tenant’s motion to dismiss. The landlord’s insurer filed a subrogation action against the tenant after a fire started on her patio.
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Woman evicted from apartment denied due process

May 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a woman was denied due process in small claims court when the court reporter presided over an initial hearing and ordered the woman to move out of her apartment.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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