Articles Posted in Indiana Supreme Court

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At issue in this case was Ind. Code 6-1.1-24-3(b), which provides that a mortgagee annually request by certified mail a copy of notice that a parcel of real property is eligible for sale under the tax sale statutes. Here a bank, which held a mortgage on certain property, failed to submit a form affirmatively requesting from the county auditor to mail notice of a pending sale of the real property. Therefore, the bank was not notified that its mortgaged property was tax delinquent until after the property had been sold and the buyer requested a tax deed. The buyer filed a petition to direct the county auditor to issue a tax deed for the property, and the bank filed a response challenging the tax sale notice statutes as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. The trial court issued an order holding that the statute was unconstitutional and denying the buyer's petition. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 6-1.1-24-3(b) was constitutional under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Remanded. View "M & M Inv. Group, LLC v. Ahlemeyer Farms, Inc." on Justia Law

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Shannon Barabas had two mortgages on her Madison County home. The second mortgagee foreclosed on the property without notice to the first. The first mortgagee sought to intervene and obtain relief from the foreclosure judgment, but the trial court denied its motion, finding that the first mortgagee was bound by the default judgment because its assignment of the mortgage was never properly recorded. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the first mortgagee had a right to intervene; and (2) the default judgment was void for lack of personal jurisdiction as to the first mortgagee because it had no notice of the foreclosure proceeding. View "Citimortgage, Inc. v. Barabas" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff co-established Company. Plaintiff later sold his majority interest pursuant to an agreement calling for payments to Plaintiff and giving Plaintiff a security interest in Company's assets. Company subsequently applied for credit with Bank, which transaction made Plaintiff's security interest in Company's assets subordinate to Bank's. Thereafter, Company went out of business, leaving loans unpaid. Plaintiff brought claims against Bank for negligence, constructive fraud, actual fraud, and tortious interference with a contract. The trial court granted Bank's motion for judgment on the evidence on all claims, including finding that Bank owed no duty to Purcell. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's ruling as to the issues of duty but reversed the trial court's judgment on the evidence as to Purcell's remaining claims. The Supreme Court granted transfer and affirmed the trial court, holding (1) there was not sufficient evidence presented in this case to withstand a motion for judgment on the evidence on Purcell's claims of fraud, deception, and tortious interference with a contract; and (2) Purcell's relationship with Bank as a subordinate creditor did not give rise to a duty of care required to prove Purcell's claims of negligence and constructive fraud. View "Purcell v. Old Nat'l Bank" on Justia Law

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Countrywide Home Loans, a mortgage holder on certain real estate, foreclosed its mortgage, took title to the property at a sheriff's sale, and then sold the property to a third party. Before these events, the property owners executed a promissory note in favor of Citizens State Bank. When the property owners failed to pay the note, Citizens Bank obtained a judgment in trial court, which was properly recorded. At the time Countrywide filed its foreclosure action, it did not name Citizens Bank as a party. After Countrywide discovered Citizens Bank's judgment lien on the property, Countrywide filed an action to foreclose any interest Citizen Bank may have had on the property. Citizens Bank filed a separate complaint seeking to foreclose its judgment lien. The trial court directed Citizens Bank to redeem Countrywide's mortgage or be barred from asserting its judgment lien. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court also reversed the judgment of the trial court but on different grounds, holding that because Citizen Bank's lien on the property was properly recorded and indexed and because Countrywide did not explain why the lien was overlooked, Countrywide failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to the remedy of strict foreclosure.