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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. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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