INDIANAPOLIS | A bitter 10-year legal battle between the first residents and more recent home purchasers in Crown Point's Fieldstone Crossing subdivision may be over.
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed a 2012 ruling by Lake Superior Judge John Pera that found the newer homes comply with the subdivision's restrictive covenants.
Fieldstone Crossing, a 33-acre subdivision southeast of 93rd and Buchanan, originally was developed by Aldon Companies Inc., which built and sold nine homes between 1993 and 2002, court records show.
Aldon sold the remaining lots to Endor Inc., which built 28 homes in the subdivision between 2003 and 2007, according to court records.
John and Kathy Paniaguas and Woodrow and Kristine Cornett, who purchased Aldon-built homes, filed suit in 2003 to stop the construction of Endor homes, which they claimed did not meet the quality and workmanship standards required by the subdivision's restrictive covenants.
In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court determined that most of the Endor homes were not subject to the covenants, and those that were received proper approval from the subdivision's architectural control committee.
"We conclude that the evidence supported the trial court's finding that all of the homes built by Endor complied with the restrictive covenants," wrote Appeals Judge James Kirsch.
At the same time, the court denied a request by the Endor homeowners that the plaintiffs be forced to pay their attorney fees for a lawsuit whose "voluminous" records the appeals court notes fill 18 volumes.
The ruling can be further appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court.