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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court posts one late today

Larry D. Storie v. Randy's Auto Sales, LLC v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company -- This is on a certified question from the 7th Circuit. Justice Dickson's 7-page, 5-0 ruling begins:

Pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 64, the United States Court of Appeals for the Se-venth Circuit has certified, and we have accepted, the following question concerning the application of Indiana law: "whether an entity that purchases and later sells a wrecked vehicle is required to apply for a salvage title under Ind. Code § 9-22-3-11(e) when it no longer owns the vehicle upon receipt of the certificate of title." Storie v. Randy's Auto Sales, LLC, 589 F.3d 873, 881 (7th Cir. 2009). As explained below, we answer in the affirmative. * * *

While acknowledging that Indiana Code § 9-22-3-11 is not free from ambiguity, we find persuasive the legislature's use of "acquiring" rather than "owning," the thirty-one day grace period within which to apply for a certificate of salvage title after receiving the original certificate of title, and the harmful consequences that could result if "acquiring" were construed to mean "owning." As a result, we answer the certified question in the affirmative. That is, an entity that purchases and later sells a wrecked vehicle is required to apply for a salvage title under Indiana Code § 9-22-3-11(e), even if it no longer continues to own the vehicle when it receives the certificate of title. The relinquishment of ownership of the salvage vehicle does not extinguish the obligation to apply for a salvage title.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 13, 2010 05:13 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions