COA to hear arguments in sewage leak case

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The Court of Appeals of Indiana is set to hear oral arguments next week in a dispute over proceedings supplemental in a messy sewage case.

A panel of the Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Conroad Associates, L.P. v. Castleton Corner Owners Association, Inc., et al., 21A-PL-1125, on Thursday.

After a sewer lift station maintained by Castleton Corner Owners Association Inc. failed and damaged a building owned by Conroad Associates in 2015, the tenant — whose property was flooded with sewage — terminated its lease with Conroad.

Conroad sued the association for breach of contract for failing to maintain the lift station, and the COA affirmed the trial court’s judgment that the association had breached its contract. However, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s calculation of damages in Castleton Corner I and remanded with specific instructions for the trial court to enter a reduced damages award.

While that case was pending, the Marion Superior Court held proceedings supplemental to the execution of its judgment against the association. It was there that the trial court ordered the association to transfer title to the sewer lift and associated easements to Conroad in partial satisfaction of the judgment.

The association appealed in Castleton Corner II and then declared bankruptcy, initiating a stay of the proceedings supplemental and the Castleton Corner II appeal.

But the appeal in Castleton Corner I was not stayed by the bankruptcy court and, following certification of the COA’s opinion, the association moved to amend the original judgment and tendered payment in the amount of the amended judgment to Conroad in full satisfaction of the amended judgment amount. It also moved to vacate the order in proceedings supplemental underlying the appeal in Castleton Corner II.

Following the bankruptcy court’s lifting of the stay in May 2021, the trial court granted the association’s motions and amended the original judgment pursuant to appellate instructions in Castleton Corner I, ordered the clerk to release the tendered payment to Conroad in satisfaction of the amount of the amended judgment, and vacated the original order in the proceedings supplemental.

On Conroad’s appeal, appellate Judges L. Mark Bailey, Paul Mathias and Robert Altice will hear the case at 1:30 p.m. on March 24.

The arguments will be held in the Court of Appeals courtroom in the Indiana Statehouse, but due to the pandemic, the courtroom will be limited to the judges, court personnel and no more than two attorneys per arguing party. The arguments will be livestreamed and televised on a monitor outside the courtroom.

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