Litigation

From the beginning to the end, from fact gathering to appeal, our trial lawyers have the experience to advance your position in the courts. Our one-on-one approach with clients allows us to obtain the information necessary to fully present your case. We have tried cases before judges and juries in local state courts, the federal district courts of Indiana and more. Our trial team relates with people and that it is the most important factor in presenting or defending lawsuits. Of course, most lawsuits are resolved by settlement, and our experience will help you to achieve the best possible result. If settlement is not possible, however, we stand ready, and are honored, to represent you before the factfinder at trial, be it a judge or a jury. The willingness, and ability, to try a case to conclusion is often the difference in achieving a successful result.

Trust that you will be going to court with the right team. Our trial lawyers have the experience and knowledge to present your case, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant. Our lawyers are prepared to handle a wide range of situations for businesses and individuals including:

  • commercial litigation
  • real estate issues
  • employment law
  • administrative law
  • environmental law
  • alternative dispute resolution

REAL ESTATE LITIGATION

Gutwein Law has the skills and knowledge to help you resolve your real estate related issues and disputes, whether it is individual, business, institution or the government. The most common disputes are:

  • Landlord/Tenant Issues
  • Adverse Possession
  • Eminent Domain
  • Boundary and Neighbor Disputes
  • Mechanic’s Liens
  • Homeowner’s Association Matters
  • Judicial Review of Zoning Decisions
  • Partitions
  • Drainage Disputes

LANDLORD AND TENANT

Gutwein Law has the knowledge and experience to address all facets of the landlord-tenant relationship. Gutwein Law has represented landlords and tenants from lease drafting and negotiating to evictions and collections.

ADVERSE POSSESSION

Adverse possession is the method of acquiring title to land through use rather than by purchase.  Indiana has strict requirements which must be met to acquire title through adverse possession. Gutwein Law has represented both parties trying to establish ownership through adverse possession and parties defending adverse possession claims.  

EMINENT DOMAIN

Eminent Domain occurs when the government acquires land for a public purpose, such as a road or park.  It requires that the government have both a legitimate purpose for taking as well as paying the landowner a fair market value for the land it is condemning.  Gutwein Law can help landowners exercise their rights when it comes to condemnation proceedings. Whether determining if the government’s reasoning is valid or finding the fair market value of the land, the attorneys at Gutwein Law can assist landowners throughout the entire process, even representing them in jury trials. In general, the eminent domain timeline is:

  • Property owner receives a written offer to purchase property.
  • If the property owner rejects the offer, the government files a complaint in the county where the property is located at least 30 days after, but within two years, of the date of the offer letter.
  • The Court will normally set a hearing for 30-45 days after the complaint is filed.
  • The property owner may file objections to proceedings no later than 30 days after the date of notice of the hearing.
  • If the objections are overruled, the Court appoints three appraisers.
  • The government may amend complaint or appeal the Court’s ruling on the objections. Property Owner may bring interlocutory appeal, and must file a bond with the Court within 30 days of filing the appeal bond. An appeal does not halt the proceedings.
  • Appraisers file their reports, usually within 45 days of appointment.
  • Any aggrieved party may file exceptions to the appraisers’ reports. The matter will then proceed to trial.
  • Trial on the issue of damages. The amount of damages is determined pursuant to provisions in the Indiana Code. If the damages awarded to the Property Owner are greater than the last settlement offer from the government, government must pay the Property Owner’s litigation expenses up to the lesser or $25,000 of the fair market value of the property.
  • Within five years after the government’s payment of damages, the government must take possession of the property and adapt it for public purpose or forfeit all rights to property, unless the government acquired a fee simple interest.

BOUNDARY AND NEIGHBOR DISPUTES

Common boundary line and neighbor disputes arise in the development of property or the change in ownership of property. Gutwein Law advises clients in a variety of neighbor disputes, including boundary line location, spite fences and trespass claims. 

MECHANIC’S LIENS

Gutwein Law has experience in all aspects of Mechanic’s Liens, whether commercial or residential, from recording the lien to foreclosing on the lien when required.

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS

Homeowners associations are formed to operate and maintain common areas and enforce regulations in the declarations of covenants and restrictions.  Gutwein Law has assisted in the enforcement of restrictive covenants both in and out of the courtroom.

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ZONING DECISIONS

Judicial review is the doctrine under which executive actions, like zoning decisions, are subject to review by the court. Gutwein Law has experience in petitioning for or defending against petitions for judicial review.

PARTITIONS

A partition is a legal remedy to divide property among co-owners. When two or more parties are joint owners of a property, they sometimes reach a point where they no longer wish to own property together. Gutwein Law is available to represent you in the judicial division of co-owned property.

DRAINAGE DISPUTES

Drainage issues often arise between land owners. Indiana Law defines drains as either a mutual or a natural surface watercourse. Gutwein Law has extensive experience in litigating drainage issues. Allow us to assist you in taking the best approach to protect your property.

CONTRACT DISPUTES

Gutwein Law can guide you through any kind of contract dispute from in-writing to handshake deals.

EMPLOYMENT LAW

When necessary, Gutwein Law has experienced litigation counsel to advance your position in the courts.  Our trial lawyers have sought and obtained both monetary and injunctive relief from state and federal courts in employment matters.  For instance, when a key employee leaves your company to work for a competitor, in violation of a non-competition agreement, we stand ready to seek an immediate restraining order on your behalf.  Similarly, such relief is often also appropriate when company secrets are improperly divulged.  Seeking judicial relief is seldom the first choice, but on occasion, it is the only message that a former employee will honor.  We are prepared and able to help you obtain the relief necessary.  

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Gutwein Law provides innovative and practical solutions to our clients with their administrative law needs. Whether you’re dealing with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Committee, the Indiana Department of Resources, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management or other administrative agency, we look not only to resolve immediate concerns, but also take into account our clients’ “big-picture” issues to achieve a better long-term result. 

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Gutwein Law offers a range of services covering virtually all aspects of environmental law. We take an innovative approach to solving problems and have assisted businesses, homeowners, farmers, real estate developers and other clients in compliance with environmental regulations as well as resolving environmental disputes.  Working with administrative laws as well as statutory and regulatory requirements, Gutwein Law handles matters involving the following:

  • Mining and Mineral Rights
  • Natural resources damages
  • Cleanups and remediation of all types
  • Cost recovery claims
  • Enforcement and penalty proceedings including those before EPA, IDEM, DNR, and local authorities
  • Air Permitting and Compliance
  • Wastewater and Stormwater Permitting and Compliance (including NPDES Permits)
  • Hazardous, Solid and Infectious Waste
  • Soil and Groundwater Contamination
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Wetlands and Endangered Species (including permitting and mitigation)
  • Historic Preservation
  • Underground Storage Tanks
  • Natural Resources and Land Use
  • Brownfields Development
  • Environmental Management Systems and Training
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation and Handling
  • Toxic Tort and Exposure Litigation
  • Administrative Proceedings and Compliance
  • Environmental Litigation and Enforcement
  • State and Federal Cleanup Programs

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Gutwein Law is there to guide you through every step of the litigation process. Many situations require or call for Mediation, Arbitration or other form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Trust the experience and knowledge of Gutwein Law to assist you in and out of the courtroom.