Thursday, August 29, 2013
Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 1 NFP)
For publication opinions today (2):
In In the Matter of the Trust of Dorothy Rhoades; Robert Kutchinski and Shelia Graves, f/k/a Shelia Kutchinski v. Joseph Strazzante and Monty Strazzante, Co-Trustees, a 21-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:
Issue. Whether the trial court erred by granting summary judgment to Joseph and Monty on the issues of testamentary capacity and undue influence. * * *In Ruth Sheek v. Mark A Morin Logging, Inc., a 17-page opinion, Judge Vaidik writes:
The state of Dorothy’s mind at the time she amended the Trust and other estate documents involves a fact-specific analysis that does not lend itself to summary judgment. Construing the facts and reasonable inferences in favor of Robert as the nonmoving party, we conclude that there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Dorothy was of sound mind at the time she executed the amendments at issue. Accordingly, we conclude that the issue of testamentary capacity is a question of fact for a jury to determine and that the trial court erred by granting summary judgment on this issue. * * *
Because we have determined that there is an issue of material fact regarding testamentary capacity, we conclude that summary judgment was also not appropriate on the issue of undue influence. * * *
Reversed and remanded.
Ruth Sheek, who owned fifty-three wooded acres in Brown County, Indiana, entered into a contract with a logging company to have specific trees cut down. When Ruth realized the severity of the damage being done to her property during the timber-harvest process, she stopped the entire operation. The logging company performed some remediation work, but damage to Ruth’s property still remained. Ruth sued for breach of contract, and the logging company counterclaimed for breach of contract. The trial court awarded Ruth $55,572.50 in damages.NFP civil opinions today (0):
Ruth appeals arguing that the trial court used the wrong measure of damages for the injury to her real property and that the court erred by reducing her damages by the value of the unharvested trees the loggers left on her property. Because the record shows that the damage to Ruth’s property is temporary rather than permanent, the trial court properly used the cost of repair, and not the difference between the market value before and after the injury, to calculate the damages. We also conclude that, because Ruth was paid for all the trees and the loggers left behind $4000 in unharvested trees, the trial court properly reduced Ruth’s damages by $4000 to avoid a windfall. We therefore affirm the trial court.
NFP criminal opinions today (1):
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 29, 2013 02:47 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions