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Title dispute leads to appellate reversal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a decision in favor of a title company, finding that the trial court must re-examine the case to decide if the two property owners have an action for negligent contract misrepresentation relating to a land easement dispute.

In Ronald E. Izynski and Linda Izynski v. Chicago Title Insurance Co., No. 45A04-1006-PL-277, the appellate court analyzed a contract dispute arising from a land ownership deal in 2003.
 
Ronald and Linda Izynski bought real estate in Porter County from Charles Ashton, and that property had a 50-foot easement that was publicly recorded but wasn’t reflected in multiple versions of a title commitment issued by Chicago Title Insurance Co. After the Izynskis learned about the easement and bought the property at a reduced price, they sued Chicago Title for breach of contract and negligence. But after a bench trial, the judge found in the title company’s favor.

The appellate panel found the trial court erred by finding the Izynskis were in contractual privity with Chicago Title because of the preliminary title and final policy issued. The trial court found that because Chicago Title and the Izynskis had a contract, no tort claim of negligent misrepresentation was available and they’re left with only contractual remedies. That was an error, the appellate panel determined, because Chicago Title had issued the title documentation to the owner the Izynskis bought the property from and the company didn’t actually have a contract with the Izynskis.

Chicago Title aruged the Izynskis had no breach of contract action because when they agreed to purchase the property, all versions of the title commitment had been issued to prospective buyer McLane and not to the Izynskis. It also argued the Izynskis have no tort remedy because they were in contractual privity with Chicago Title.

“Chicago Title cannot have it both ways,” wrote Judge Melissa May. “As we find there was no privity when the Izynskis agreed to buy the property, we remand for a determination whether the Izynskis have an action for negligent misrepresentation.”

The appellate panel also found the trial court erred in finding that mention of a previous easement from 1972 serves as notice for the 1979 easement at issue.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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