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Lake County man warned against disparaging bench

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A Lake County man with a history of filing unsupported allegations and derogatory comments in pleadings was rebuffed on his latest appearance before the Indiana Court of Appeals, which warned him against disparaging the bench.

A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for Debra Teibel and Douglas Grimmer, the children of the late Evelyn Garrard. Her ex-husband, Ronald Garrard, had appealed after a Lake County trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Teibel and Grimmer on claims he made against the estate.

In long-running litigation, the children were given power of attorney for their mother after she was diagnosed with dementia in 2003, but Garrard was named her attorney-in-fact in 2006. A trial court later determined Evelyn Garrard had been incapacitated by September 2005, and dismissed her ex-husband’s claims.

The Court of Appeals had stern words for Garrard in In the Matter of the Supervised Estate of Evelyn Garrard; Ronald Garrard v. Debra L. Teibel and Douglas Grimmer and Debra Lindsay, 45A03-1111-PL-547. 

“As he did in his pleadings during the trial proceedings, Garrard continues to use a contentious tone in his appellate brief. Furthermore, as with his prior appeal, Garrard has failed to comply with our Appellate Rules,” Judge Rudy R. Pyle III wrote in a unanimous opinion. “Due to the deficient nature of Garrard’s brief, Teibel and Grimmer request that we find that Garrard has waived all issues on appeal. We agree.”

Pyle wrote that Garrard’s appeal lacked cogent argument and “utterly fails to show that a genuine issue of material fact existed.”

“Finally, we note that Garrard’s argument section is also rife with unsupported accusations and derogatory comments against opposing counsel, the trial judge, and the trial bench as a whole. … (H)e calls the judges in Northwest Indiana ‘corrupt’ and asserts that they are a ‘pitiful and despicable group[.]’

“We warn Garrard that ‘we do not look favorably upon disparaging and disrespectful language in briefs with regard to this Court or the trial courts of this state,’” Pyle wrote.

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