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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues third opinion today

In Old National Bancorp d/b/a Old National Trust Company v. Hanover College, an 8-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice David writes:

A trustee appealed a trial court’s termination of two of its trusts. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal for a lack of jurisdiction. Because we find the trustee lacked standing to appeal in its representative capacity and did not appeal in its individual capacity, we likewise dismiss this action. * * *

Simply put, Old National arguing that it appealed here in anything other than its representative capacity fails the Duck Test.[4]

Thus, regardless of whether Indiana Code § 30-4-6-11(a)’s broader-sounding terms permit persons to appeal the termination of a trust when those persons were not parties to the trust proceedings, or whether Indiana Appellate Rule 17(A) implies that all such aggrieved persons must first intervene at the trial level before seeking an appeal, the outcome in this case does not change. Old National was a party to the trust proceedings in its representative capacity as trustee and never sought to intervene in its individual capacity. It then appealed in its representative capacity—which it now concedes it lacked the power to do after the trusts were terminated—and claimed to be appealing in its individual capacity only once it faced dismissal.

Conclusion. Because Old National lacks standing to pursue this appeal, we lack jurisdiction to hear it. It is therefore dismissed.
[4] See Walczak v. Labor Works-Ft. Wayne, LLC, 983 N.E.2d 1146, 1148–49 (Ind. 2013).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 3, 2014 05:01 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions