By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — A Madison County judge has denied a motion to dismiss the Indiana Attorney General's office civil lawsuit against Roger Shoot, a prominent area real estate broker.
Circuit Court 1 Judge Angela Warner Sims also issued an order earlier this month that the attorney general's complaint must include the rent-to-own agreements it relied on to file the lawsuit against Shoot to comply with Indiana trial rules. She gave the attorney general's office an Aug. 30 deadline to include those rent-to-own agreements to the court record, or explain why the agency isn't in compliance.
The attorney general's office filed a civil lawsuit against Shoot and his wife, Pamela, in April alleging that he ran a "rent-to-own" scheme. According to court filings, Shoot failed to pay insurance premiums and property taxes as outlined in contracts, and pocketed the cash instead.
In his motion to have the case dismissed, Shoot's attorney, David McNamar, said the lawsuit was not filed against the real parties of interest in the case, and that the state demanded no remedy as required under Indiana's rules of procedure.
McNamar also argued that Pamela Shoot should be dropped as a defendant because being married to Roger Shoot "does not make her liable under the law for acts alleged against him," according to the filing.
Laura Turner, an attorney handling the case for the attorney general, countered that the state's lawsuit contained a clear request for the court to bar Shoot from committing any deceptive act where real estate actions are concerned, require restitution to be determined at trial.
She also rejected the idea of dismissing Pamela Shoot as a defendant, noting that she is an owner and member of her husband's company. In addition, she was a signatory on the bank account where consumer money was deposited, which the state alleges as used to pay for personal expenses.
At the same it filed civil lawsuit, the attorney general's office filed a separate complaint with the Indiana Real Estate Commission to revoke or suspend Shoot's real estate principal broker's license. A hearing scheduled for July was postponed until the commission's September meeting.
At the direction of Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings, the Anderson Police Department began a criminal investigation of Shoot's business practices. That inquiry is ongoing, said Anderson Police spokesman Detective Joel Sandefur.
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