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Misplaced court order not the same as undelivered, COA rules

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Reviewing an appeal arising from a misplaced court order, the Indiana Court of Appeals has made clear that relief under Indiana Trial Rule 72(E) requires evidence that counsel did not receive the court’s notice.

On Nov. 14, 2012, a Marion County court entered an order in favor of Veolia Water of Indianapolis. Christina Atkins’ counsel did receive a copy of the order but apparently misfiled it and did not learn of the judgment until counsel went to court two months later.  

Atkins filed a motion seeking relief from the judgment and leave to file a belated appeal under Trial Rule 72(E). After the trial court denied the motion, Atkins filed an appeal, asserting the lower court erred because the court clerk’s chronological case summary did not note service of the order.

The Court of Appeals ruled that relief under Trial Rule 72(E) is contingent upon not receiving a notice of court’s ruling, order or judgment. Lack of notice is the prerequisite and counsel must first establish either the notice was never mail or mailed to the wrong address.

It is undisputed that Atkins’ counsel received a copy of the order.

Consequently, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Atkins’ request to file a belated appeal in Christina Atkins, and Kyla Atkins, by her parents and next friend Christina Atkins v. Veolia Water Indianapolis, LLC, 49A02-1302-CT-181.
 
While the COA acknowledged that no court has previously held that lack of notice is a prerequisite for relief under Trial Rule 72(E), it noted that statements by the Indiana Supreme Court supported its interpretation. Specifically, it referred to Markle v. Indiana State Teachers Ass’n, 514 N.E.2d 612, 614 (Ind. 1987) and Collins v. Covenant Mutual Insurance Co., 644 N.E.2d 116, 117-18 (Ind. 1994).

“A copy of the Order was mailed to the office of Atkins’s counsel,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote for the court. “It may well be true that her counsel never physically laid eyes on the Order and thus did not have actual knowledge of it. But her counsel’s mishandling of the Order does not negate the fact that notice was given. Because that notice was given, Atkins cannot now obtain relief under Rule 72(E). A contrary result would undermine the purpose of Rule 72(E).”
 

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  1. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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