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Lawyer failed to deny note execution under oath

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Because an attorney acting pro se in a mortgage suit didn't include a statement in his general denial that the denial was truthful and made under penalty for perjury, he failed to deny under oath the execution of the note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

In Brian B. Baldwin v. Tippecanoe Land & Cattle Co., No. 55A01-0902-CV-52, the appellate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Tippecanoe Land & Cattle Co. in its claim to foreclose its second mortgage held by Baldwin.

Tippecanoe submitted the secured installment promissory note that was not signed, and a real estate second mortgage that appeared to be signed by Baldwin. Baldwin filed a one-sentence answer entering a general denial. His answer was signed and listed his attorney number, but didn't contain an oath.

The day before the hearing, Baldwin filed a verified response arguing the second mortgage was unenforceable because the note wasn't signed nor attached to the second mortgage.

Taken collectively, Indiana Trial Rules 8(B), 9.2(B), and 11(A) mean that an attorney's signature on a general denial rejects the assertion of the claim, but doesn't constitute an oath by which the pleader denies the execution of an instrument attached to a claim, wrote Judge Patricia Riley. Execution of the note and second mortgage would be deemed established under Indiana Trial Rule 9.2(B) unless Baldwin denied under oath that they were executed.

He didn't include a statement that his general denial was truthful and made under penalty for perjury, so he failed to deny under oath the execution of the note, she wrote.

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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