from the Lake Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
45D09-1805-OV-1637 The Honorable Julie N. Cantrell, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Kristen D. Hill Munster, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Sophia J. Arshad Arshad Pangere &
Warring, LLP Merrillville, Indiana Geoffrey G. Giorgi Giorgi
& Bebekoski, LLC Crown Point, Indiana
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Plaintiff, the City of Hammond (Hammond), appeals
the Superior Court's dismissal of its action against
Appellee-Defendant, John Rostankovski (Rostankovski), for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
We reverse and remand for further proceedings.
Hammond presents this court with one issue on appeal which we
restate as: Whether the Superior Court lacked subject matter
jurisdiction to hear Hammond's appeal from a negative
judgment based on an ordinance violation.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Rostankovski is the owner of residential rental property
located on Spruce Street, in Hammond, Indiana. On October 24,
2017, Hammond filed a Complaint against Rostankovski in the
Hammond City Court (City Court), alleging a violation of
Hammond's zoning ordinance. Rostankovski filed a motion
to dismiss Hammond's Complaint, to which Hammond
responded. On April 20, 2018, after conducting a hearing, the
City Court issued an Order, concluding that Hammond's
Complaint was barred by laches and consequently dismissed the
On April 30, 2018, Hammond filed a motion for trial
de novo with the Lake County Superior Court
(Superior Court), which was denied on May 7, 2018. In its
order, the Superior Court found:
Motion for Trial De Novo is denied. Trial De Novo Rule 2A1
states, "a defendant who has statutory right to appeal .
. ." It does not contemplate appeal by anyone other than
However, if [Hammond] is of the opinion it has a right to
pursue appeal pursuant to [Ind. Code §] 33-35-5-10,
[Hammond] shall file an appeal in conformity with the