Indiana Court Records
Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Indiana
A contract is an agreement that is accepted and signed between the parties involved and enforceable by law. The Indiana judiciary has jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes and litigations that arise from the performance or breach of contract in Indiana. Court officials will also maintain records of the proceedings from filing until final adjudication. These records are available to interested members of the public at the office of the record custodian.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching for records simpler, as geographic locations do not limit their activities. Thus, the search engines on third-party sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or persons involved in the case. These include information such as the city, county, or state of residence or accusation.
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not government-sponsored. Consequently, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
What are Contract Disputes in Indiana?
Contract disputes are disagreements that arise when parties fail to fulfill the contractual obligations or block the other party’s ability to fulfill contractual obligations. Disputes also arise when either party does not perform contracts per the agreed terms and conditions.
What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Indiana?
Any private and public entity may enter into a contract that is enforceable by law. Thus, there are several examples of contract disputes that may arise from an agreement. Nevertheless, the following are the common contract disputes in Indiana:
- Employment contract disputes: An employment contract details the role and responsibilities of the employee. It will also describe the vertical and horizontal relationship and contract obligations between employer and employee. However, it is common for both parties to disagree on the contract terms during and after employment. Typical disagreements involve restrictive clauses (non-compete and non-disclosure), wage disputes, wrongful termination, and the ownership of intellectual property.
- Insurance contracts: An insurance is a protection against future risks. By paying a premium, the policyholder hedges against financial loss, and the insurer pledges to compensate the policyholder for future losses. The common disputes involve contests of the insurance policy limits, applicable deductibles, and indemnification. It is also common for the government to litigate insurance contracts contrary to public policy, i.e., a contract that violates state statutes.
- Relationship contracts: Indeed, marriage is a contract in Indiana, and parties in amorous relationships enter into agreements per the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The common disputes involve child support, custody, and spousal support. It may also involve the division of debt, property, wills, trusts, and other financial assets in the event of a divorce or separation.
- Real estate contract: Real estate contracts are agreements made in the purchase and sale of residential and commercial property. Typical disputes arise from price, property condition, appraisal fraud, or rights and responsibilities of the parties involved.
- Construction contract: The contract disputes typically involve the property owner, contractor, and sub-contractors. Typical disputes arise from construction delays, efficiency issues, non-payments, and withholding payments.
What is Indiana Contract Law?
Indiana contract law refers to the statutes and common law that govern the creation and execution of contracts within the state jurisdiction. Title 26 (Commercial Law) embodies the bulk of contract law in Indiana. The statutes also make provisions for initiating litigation and the adjudication of breach of contract in the state (Indiana Code: Title 34)..
What is a Breach of Contract in Indiana?
A breach of contract refers to when one or both parties fail to perform contractual obligations during the period of a valid contract. A breach of contract in Indiana may be actual or anticipatory.
What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Indiana?
A remedy is a legal course of action to compensate the party aggrieved by a breach of contract. The administration of a remedy may be bilateral, where the parties resolve the breach in-house, or unilateral, where the aggrieved party forces compliance by using an advantage.
In many cases, however, the remedy for a breach of contract is imposed by a third party, i.e., a court of jurisdiction. The following are the remedies available for a breach of contract in Indiana:
- Damages: Damages may be compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages are awarded to cover the economic loss suffered by the aggrieved party (IC 27–9–3.1–1). Conversely, the court may order punitive damages if there is compelling evidence that the defaulter acted with malicious intent (IC 34–51–3). Either way, the amount awarded must be reasonable as provided by the law.
- Specific Performance: Specific performance is a court order to perform contractual obligations. This remedy is only available where the loss arising from a breach is not measurable and where monetary compensation is inadequate.
- Rescission: A rescission is an equitable remedy that enforces the right of the aggrieved party to cancel or terminate the contract. Upon adjudication, the aggrieved party is not required to perform contractual obligations and may file compensation claims. However, both parties must restore benefits obtained from the execution of the contract thus far, if any.
A claim for breach begins in the county trial court and follows the Indiana Rule of Civil Procedure. The aggrieved party submits a petition at the office of the clerk, describing the breach and showing proof that the defaulter is aware of the breach. Generally, the court also requires the petitioner to show proof that there has been an attempt to resolve the dispute for seeking legal relief.
Meanwhile, the statute of limitation to file a claim on the breach of a written contract is ten years (IC 34–11–2–11),, while a claim for a breach of an unwritten contract is six years (IC 34–11–2–7).. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to prove a breach of contract and on the defaulter to establish that there is no breach per the terms of the contract or state laws. Both parties must use evidentiary materials to support arguments and claims for favorable adjudication.
What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Indiana?
The following are legal arguments or defenses that nullify a claim of breach of contract in Indiana:
- Mistake of fact
- Discharge by lapse of time
- Unconscionable terms
- Incapacity to contract
- Unauthorized modification
What are Property Disputes in Indiana?
Property disputes are disagreements regarding the ownership, rights, and responsibilities of the property owner and the entities privy to the contract. Title 32 of the Indiana Code govern property and common property disputes in Indiana.
What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Indiana?
Some of the common property disputes in Indiana involve:
- Real estate fraud
- Right of survivorship
- Unclaimed personal property
- Property lines
How to Find Property Lines
Property lines or boundary lines are defined points that show the boundaries of adjoining parcels of land, as established by a real estate survey. Information on property lines is available at the office of the county surveyor. Interested persons may find the contact information and available services on the county official website, e.g. Adams County Surveyor.
How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?
The Indiana State Bar provides resources for interested persons to find preferred legal help in Indiana. To get started, visit the legal help section.