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Appeals court reverses summary judgment in business ownership dispute

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The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday reversed summary judgment in favor of defendants in a dispute involving ownership of a business.

A panel unanimously reversed an order by Hendricks Circuit Judge Jeffrey V. Boles that granted summary judgment in Don Morris and Randy Coakes v. Brad Crain, Richard Redpath, Biosafe Engineering, LLC, Steven Biesecker, Tyler Johnson, Brandon Ross and Chris Sollars, No. 32C01-1003-PL-414.

Appeals Court Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote in a unanimous opinion that because the court “ordered the parties to implement a procedure inconsistent with summary judgment proceedings, summary judgment was improvidently granted.”

Boles issued an order dismissing several of the defendants from the lawsuit and ordering the remaining parties to submit documents within 10 days. Plaintiffs were ordered to state legal theories asserted against the defendants; defendants were ordered to detail the legal elements of the plaintiffs’ theories they assert had not been met.

Don Morris and Randy Coakes sued after selling a biological effluent destruction systems products company in which they had interest, along with other officials who had lesser interests. The suit was filed after Morris was fired by Steven Biesecker.

The plaintiffs alleged they had equitable interests and contractual rights in BioSafe Engineering and standing to bring a shareholder derivative action that would include seeking appointment of a receiver, an accounting and disgorgement of funds, and BioSafe’s dissolution.

The defendants denied that Richard Redpath and Brad Crain created a false document, made false representations, brought about the plaintiff’s ouster, diverted funds, or met with Morris to discuss ownership participation. The defendants also denied that Morris and Coakes held an equitable interest or that they had standing to bring a shareholder derivative claim.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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