from the Cass Superior Court Cause No. 09D01-1410-PL-36 The
Honorable James K. Muehlhausen, Judge
Appellant pro se Jim Brugh Logansport, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellees Jeffrey D. Stanton Logansport,
Indiana Yamir Gonzalez Velez Logansport, Indiana
In 1922, Cass County dedicated a World War I memorial
(Memorial Home) in Logansport. The Board of Trustees for
Memorial Home stopped functioning around 2001 and the County
took over maintenance, but Memorial Home fell into disrepair.
In 2014, the Cass County Commissioners deeded Memorial Home
to the City of Logansport without reference to the
property's dedicated purpose. Jim Brugh, a concerned
citizen, filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against
the County and the City, challenging the transfer.
Brugh's suit resulted in entry of an agreed judgment
between the parties in February 2016 (the Agreed Judgment).
Brugh filed a petition for enforcement of the Agreed Judgment
in May 2018, arguing that the City and County had yet to
comply. Additionally, Brugh alleged that the County Council
should be found in contempt due to its refusal to commit $62,
500 toward improvements for Memorial Home as part of a second
Following a hearing, the trial court denied Brugh's
petition for enforcement and found that the County Council
was not in contempt. On appeal, Brugh argues that the trial
court failed to enforce the Agreed Judgment as written and
abused its discretion by not finding the County Council in
We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
& Procedural History
Over 1000 Cass County citizens served as soldiers or sailors
in World War I. After the war, in 1919, the Indiana
Legislature passed an act in Chapter 115 of the Acts of 1919
(the Act) authorizing the several counties and cities within
the state to finance, build, manage, and maintain memorials
related to the war. Cass County citizens petitioned the
County for such a memorial, and the Cass County Commissioners
granted the petition in June 1920 and determined that $35,
000 should be expended for this public purpose. In July, the
newly-appointed Board of Trustees for the memorial
successfully petitioned the County to purchase the Baldwin
homestead at 7th and Market Streets in Logansport
for the memorial site. The County issued bonds, as allowed by
the Act, to cover the purchase price. On May 14, 1922, the
County officially dedicated Memorial Home as a war memorial.
Memorial Home was maintained by the Board of Trustees and the
County and utilized by the public for the next several
By the early 2000s, the building on Memorial Home's
grounds had fallen into disrepair and the Board of Trustees
ceased to exist. The County took over maintenance of the
building, and weddings and public events continued to be held
on the grounds. In 2010, after receiving a federal Community
Development Block Grant (CDBG) for a feasibility study, the
County hired an architect and design firm to study the
feasibility of expanding the use of Memorial Home as a
community center. The resulting 2010 Master Plan made
recommendations, provided options, and estimated the total
project cost at about $1.5 million, which would escalate at
4% per year.
On June 16, 2014, the County Commissioners transferred
Memorial Home, by quit claim deed, to the City of Logansport.
The deed did not make reference to the property's
dedicated purpose. In October of that year, Brugh filed a
complaint for declaratory judgment against the County and
injunctive relief against the City. Brugh argued that the
transfer was invalid and that the Board of Trustees should be
reappointed to control Memorial Home. Further, Brugh asked
the trial court to direct the County Commissioners to expend
funds to maintain and repair Memorial Home "as required
by the trustees, pursuant to the law."
Appellant's Appendix Vol. 2 at 20. Finally,
pending outcome of the case, Brugh requested that the City be
enjoined from transferring title to Memorial Home or altering
the structure in any way.
During a summary judgment hearing in November 2015, the
parties asked to recess the matter to see if it could be
resolved by agreement. Thereafter, on February 29, 2016, the
parties' Agreed Judgment, which was drafted by Brugh, was
accepted by the trial court. The Agreed Judgment began by
setting out certain details of the Act and the history of the
establishment of Memorial Home. Within the Agreed Judgment,
the County and City expressly agreed that "Memorial Home
is dedicated as a war memorial and shall be preserved for
that purpose, pursuant to their contract." Id.
at 67. To this end, the Agreed Judgment required the
following of the County and City:
6. The City will execute a new deed which transfers Memorial
Home to itself and to the Cass County Commissioners, jointly;
that deed will refer to the dedication and preservation of
Memorial Home as a war memorial, pursuant to I.C.
10-18-4-2(b)(3) and I.C. 10-18-4-12.
7. The City of Logansport and the Cass County Commissioners
shall enter into a contract related to the establishment of
the joint World War memorial, pursuant to I.C. 10-18-4-11(e),
including, but not limited to, subsection (5) which mandates
"(5) that the necessary cost and expenses for the
management, maintenance, repairs, and improvement of the
World War memorial shall be paid by the county and city in
the same proportion that they contribute to the establishment
of the memorial."
Id. at 67-68.
Although the City did not execute a deed as required by the
Agreed Judgment, the City and County proceeded as joint
owners of Memorial Home thereafter. In 2016, a Board of
Trustees (the Board) was appointed, with Mike Fincher serving
as president from November 2016 through January 2018. Fincher
worked closely with Deputy Mayor Mercedes Brugh regarding the
maintenance and repair of Memorial Home. He walked through
the building with the architect and reviewed the 2010 Master
Plan and a privately-funded, updated version of the plan (the
2017 Plan Update). The 2017 Plan Update, at the request of
Deputy Mayor Brugh, broke the project up into three phases -
a stabilization phase, a rehabilitations phase, and an
upgrades phase. The total cost of the project for all phases
was estimated to be between $1.7 million and $2 million.
There was also an environmental site assessment conducted for
the County in 2016, which estimated environmental remediation
of Memorial Home to cost around $70, 000.
After conferring with the Board and county and city
officials, the City took the lead in preparing a CDBG grant
application in 2017 in the amount of $633, 050, which would
be used to fix the roof, stabilize the foundation, and
complete "some ADA work". Transcript Vol.
II at 76. The actual grant would be $500, 000, and the
City and County would equally split the match amount of $125,
000 and the rest would be raised through private donations
and the Community Foundation. By March 2017, both the City
and County had committed to pay their respective match
amounts of $62, 500 in a joint attempt to secure the CDBG
While the CDBG grant application was pending, the City and
County entered into a joint operating agreement in July 2017
(the Operating Agreement). The Operating Agreement referenced
the prior litigation and the decree that the City and the
County "work together for the mutual benefit of
operating the building known as [Memorial Home], as a war
memorial, a tribute to the men and women from Cass County who
served their country." Appellant's Appendix Vol.
2 at 110. The Operating Agreement, which was rather
detailed with eighteen separate articles, addressed the
appointment of members to the ...