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Small claims judgment based entirely on hearsay did not violate due process

In a small claim collections case, plaintiff succeeded at trial even though it only submitted an unsworn letter from the creditor dentist. The defendant argued that this violated due process since he was not able to cross-examine the doctor. The Court of Appeals disagreed reasoning that the defendant could have issued a subpoena to ensure the doctor’s appearance at trial. This made the distinguishable from other cases where small claims courts wrongfully disallowed cross-examination of testifying witnesses.

www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/03111401rrp.pdf.

IN CoA changes position on statute of limitations on amended complaints

In case where motion to amend complaint, adding new defendants, along with proposed amended complaint was filed before statute of limitations but amended complaint and issue of summons were approved after SOL expired, suit was timely filed as to newly added Defendants. Court expressly abrogated the position it took on the same fact pattern presented in A. J.’s Auto. Sales v. Freet, 725 N.E.2d 955 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000) (a case decided at the trial level by Judge Crone and at the appellate level by Judge Friedlander, Sr. Judge Garrard, and Judge Darden, none of whom participated in this opinion). Instead, the panel took the occasion to adopt the majority view on this issue and deemed that the addition of the defendants was timely by virtue of the filed motion and proposed complaint.

www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/02201401msm.pdf.

IN CoA affirms denial of mother’s petition to relocate to Hawaii with son

Where mother petitioned to leave Bartholomew County for better employment and the long list of Hawaii v. Indiana pros, trial court erred in holding that mother did not make the petition in good faith but did not err overall in holding that move was not in child’s best interests. CoA factored in father’s limited ability to exercise parenting time (which he had exercised regularly); the child’s relationship with his extended family; child’s adjustment to school and friends in the area; opposing views of social workers; and mother’s previous contempt order where she obstructed father’s parenting time.

www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/02051401cjb.pdf.

Boehringer v. Weber (1-31-14)

IN CoA (Bradford; Mathias & Pyle Concur). Real Estate – Sales Disclosures, Mold

Where two inspections prior to sale of home did not show mold, buyer could not claim seller failed to comply with sales disclosure requirements (which require disclosure of actual knowledge under Ind. Code § 32-21-5-9) or that seller committed fraud. Trial court’s decision was affirmed and seller was entitled to $450,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs at the trial level. The amount of fees was not contested by buyer for reasons unknown.

www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/01311401cjb.pdf.

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