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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Id. Decisions - Noble Roman's v. Pizza Boxes is reversed

In Noble Roman's v. Pizza Boxes, issued today by the Court of Appeals, Judge Najam writes:

Noble Roman’s, Inc. appeals from the trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Pizza Boxes, Inc. in this breach of contract action. Noble Roman’s presents a single dispositive issue for our review, namely, whether the trial court erred when it did not enter summary judgment for Noble Roman’s. We reverse and remand with instructions. * * *

Initially, we note that Pizza Boxes’ complaint suggests that the November 1, 2002 letter is a purchase order, that is, “[a] document authorizing a seller to deliver goods with payment to be made later.” See BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 1248 (7th ed. 1999). But the plain and ordinary meaning of the letter shows that it is a requirements contract. See Ind. Code § 26-1-2-306. The letter is not an order for 2.5 million boxes but, on its face, contemplates the possibility that not all 2.5 million boxes would be manufactured. Thus, it is not a purchase order. And despite the inclusion in the letter of a specific estimate of quantity, it is clear that there was no meeting of the minds on how many boxes Pizza Boxes would ultimately produce under the requirements contract.

Judge Riley concurs. Judge Sullivan concurs in part and concurs in result in part with separate opinion. He disagrees that "the arrangement evidenced by the November 1 letter" was a requirements contract. But he concludes:
I agree that the summary judgment in favor of Pizza Boxes was erroneous except as to unpaid printing prep charges and that subject to the exception for prep charges, summary judgment was appropriate in favor of Noble Roman’s with respect to the agreement represented by the November 2001 letter as confirmed by Mr. Gilbert. 6 I venture no opinion with respect to whether Noble Roman’s had actual or apparent authority to enter into a contract on behalf of Multifoods nor whether Multifoods might have been liable to Pizza Boxes for the boxes actually manufactured.
In Godby v. Whitehead:
Godby brought suit against Daniel K. Whitehead for legal malpractice. Godby alleged that Whitehead negligently failed to present a claim that Godby was denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel in his petition for post-conviction relief. In response, Whitehead filed a Trial Rule 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The trial court granted Whitehead’s motion and dismissed the complaint with prejudice. * * * We reverse and remand.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 26, 2005 12:29 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions