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Appellate court cites claim-splitting, res judicata in rejecting appeal

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In a life insurance case that has spanned eight years, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that an appeal from a widow is without merit.

In Bonita G. Hilliard, in her capacity as Trustee of the H. David and Bonita G. Hilliard Living Trust v. Timothy E. Jacobs, No. 28A04-1106-CT-284, Bonita Hilliard appeals the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Timothy Jacobs.

Bonita Hilliard’s husband, David, and Jacobs were business partners from 1997 until they sold their company in 2002. In 1999, the two men executed a cross-purchase agreement that required each of them to take out a life insurance policy so that if one partner died, the other could use insurance policy proceeds to buy out the other’s interest in the company.

After the sale of the company, David Hilliard suggested that he and Jacobs swap policies; Jacobs declined and continued paying premiums, but David Hilliard stopped paying premiums for the policy on Jacobs.

David Hilliard filed suit in 2003, requesting the trial court to order Jacobs to terminate the policy or transfer it to David Hilliard. He allegedly feared for his life and did not assert all his claims of relief, hoping for a speedy trial. The court granted judgment in favor of David Hilliard, but the COA later reversed that decision, finding nothing in the cross-purchase agreement to warrant termination of the policy Jacobs owned. David Hilliard died in 2004. In this most recent appeal, his widow contends the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Jacobs.

The COA affirmed the trial court, holding that Bonita Hilliard’s claims are barred by res judicata. By withholding legal theories of relief and evidence, she has engaged in claim splitting in an effort to allow herself another chance to litigate her claims, the appellate court wrote.

 

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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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