ILNews

Court didn't err in ordering cash bond

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s order that the two beneficiaries of a piece of property who objected to the sale of the land must each pay a $100,000 cash bond. The case also gave the appellate court the opportunity to decide the standard of review in this type of challenge.

John Cox and Daphne Barger were among several beneficiaries named in Doris P. Jackson’s will to receive 120 acres. A coal company offered to buy the land for $1.4 million dollars and the six other beneficiaries wanted to sell the land to pay off the obligations of the estate. Cox and Barger objected.

Following Indiana Code Section 29-1-15-4, the trial court granted the personal representatives of the estate’s request that Cox and Barger post a bond to pay the estate’s obligations, which were estimated at around $124,000. Cox and Barger were ordered to each pay $100,000. They filed this interlocutory appeal.

The Estate of Doris P. Jackson, John Cox, et al. v. George R. Jackson, II, et al., No. 77A04-1005-ES-331, happened to be the first time the Court of Appeals determined the standard of review for the type of challenge raised by Cox and Barger. They argued the trial court erred by requiring more than three times the amount of cash bond than was necessary from the objecting beneficiaries and by requiring a cash bond instead of one with a surety.

The appellate court concluded that because I.C. Section 29-1-15-4 lets the trial court “approve” both the amount and form of the bond, the abuse of discretion standard is appropriate. They also found the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion by ordering the high amount in a cash bond. The bond must be sufficient to pay all the obligations of the estate, not just the objecting beneficiary’s proportionate share, wrote Judge Terry Crone.

Because the difference in value between the estate’s obligations and the “other property” in the estate is at least $100,000, the trial court’s setting the bond at $100,000 wasn’t an abuse of discretion.

The statute references sureties, but the appellate court has previously held that cash can qualify as a surety.

“We cannot conclude that a trial court abuses its discretion in ordering a cash bond simply because it might pose a hardship and be more expensive than another form of surety,” he wrote. “Because that is the full extent of Appellants’ argument on this issue, we find no abuse of discretion in this case.”

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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