« Ind. Law - "Powerhouse Attorney: The cases and cars of Jim Voyles" | Main | Ind. Gov't - More on "State attorney general Zoeller on expedition for invasive Asian carp" »

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 15 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Marshall Banter v. Joshua Sheets, a 5-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:

Marshall Banter filed a complaint against Joshua Sheets alleging negligence in causing an automobile accident. Sheets did not dispute his liability in causing the accident, but a jury found Banter 70% at fault. Banter filed a motion to correct error, which the trial court denied. We reverse and remand for a new trial. * * *

Because Sheets conceded liability, the only issue for the jury to determine was the amount of Banter’s damages, and there was no basis for any assessment of fault against Banter. We reverse and remand for a new trial, and the jury shall be instructed in relevant part that Sheets has conceded 100% fault in causing the accident and that the jury shall only determine the amount of Banter’s damages, if any. And as our supreme court observed in Kocher, “[w]hile a plaintiff’s post-accident conduct that constitutes an unreasonable failure to mitigate damages is not to be considered in the assessment of fault, a plaintiff ‘may not recover for any item of damage that [the plaintiff] could have avoided through the use of reasonable care.’” 824 N.E.2d at 675 (quoting Indiana Pattern Jury Instruction No. 11.120 (2003)).

In William Chavers v. State of Indiana, an 11-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Mathias writes:
William Chavers (“Chavers”) appeals his conviction for Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy in Marion Superior Court. Chavers argues that the State’s evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because there was a mistake of fact as to the existence of the no contact order. We affirm.
InThe Cain Family Farm, L.P., and The Cain Family Farm, LLC, v. Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company, Inc., Charles O. Drerup, Antlers Ridge, LLC, and Candace J. Somerlott, a 16-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:
The Cain Family Farm, L.P., and The Cain Family Farm, LLC, appeal the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Charles O. Drerup and Antlers Ridge, LLC on Cain Family Farm’s complaint seeking to prevent the transfer of real property owned by the Limited Partnership to Antlers Ridge. Cain Family Farm also appeals the trial court’s denial of its cross-motion for summary judgment. Cain Family Farm presents the following dispositive issues for review on appeal:
1. Whether the trial court erred when it concluded that there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding Candace Somerlott’s apparent authority to bind the LLC when she executed a purchase agreement for the sale of real property to Antlers Ridge.
2. Whether the trial court erred when it interpreted and applied Indiana Code Section 23-18-3-1.1(b) of the Indiana Business Flexibility Act. * * *

The dispositive issue on appeal is whether Candace had apparent authority to bind the LLC and, by extension, the Limited Partnership, when she executed the Purchase Agreement. While the designated evidence reveals questions of material fact concerning whether Candace had actual authority to bind the LLC and whether Schrader breached its contract and violated its fiduciary duty to Cain Family Farm, those issues are not before us in this appeal. The undisputed designated evidence shows that the Cain siblings gave Drerup the reasonable belief that Candace represented them and was authorized to execute the Purchase Agreement on behalf of the LLC. During the auction, the Cain siblings rejected the bid on Tract 5, while, insofar as Drerup knew or had reason to believe, they had not rejected the Antlers Ridge bids on Tracts 2 through 4 and 6 through 17, and their agent, Schrader, expressly and publicly stated that the farm was being sold that day and presented Drerup and Candace with a purchase agreement. By all appearances, Candace had authority, and there are no indicia that would have placed Drerup on notice or inquiry notice that Candace did not have authority to sign the Purchase Agreement for the LLC. Thus, the Purchase Agreement is valid and enforceable under the doctrine of apparent authority. And because Candace executed the Purchase Agreement “for apparently carrying on in the usual way the business” of the LLC, namely, to act as the general partner of the Limited Partnership, the Purchase Agreement is also valid and enforceable under Indiana Code Section 23-18-3-1.1(b). Whether we consider the question of apparent authority under the common law or the Indiana Business Flexibility Act, the outcome is the same. Affirmed.

NFP civil opinions today (3):

Jim A. Edsall v. Benson, Pantello, Morris, James & Logan (NFP)

Barbara Laskowski v. Amer Kazi, M.D. (NFP)

Susan Berg v. Wanda Peters Rice a/k/a Wanda Coleman (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (12):

Jeramie Murdock v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jeffrey Nemcek v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Scott Banfield v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Oscar Guillen, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Patrick Wiese v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Eric M. Kyner v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Christopher McCaster v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Romell Colvin v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Nicholas Joseph Bray v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Kenneth Horton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Delford W. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Melvin Lee Hayes v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 16, 2013 10:40 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions