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COA affirms judgment for bank in replevin action

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld summary judgment for a bank in its attempt to repossess a motorcycle, finding that while the purchasers of the motorcycle had an interest in it, their interest was not superior to the bank’s perfect security interest.

Jacob Magish bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle, using a $15,000 loan from Fifth Third Bank. He never completed the proper title work and in fact fraudulently obtained a “clean” title. He fell behind on his loan payments and sold the motorcycle through Craigslist to Kristine and Larry Dawson. He gave them the fraudulent title.

Fifth Third attempted to repossess the bike and filed a replevin case. The Dawsons, who still have the motorcycle, filed a complaint to have the bank’s lien declared unenforceable so they can have a clear title. Fifth Third filed a counterclaim for replevin. Both filed for summary judgment, which the trial court granted for the bank.

When Magish defaulted on his loan, the bank, as the secured party, had a right to take possession of the motorcycle, the COA ruled in Kristine A. and Larry G. Dawson v. Fifth Third Bank, No. 49A02-1107-PL-704. The judges rejected the Dawsons’ claim that their purchase and ownership of the motorcycle precludes the bank from being able to prove that the Dawsons wrongfully held possession of the motorcycle. Judge Carr Darden noted that the Dawsons didn’t verify with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles before purchasing the motorcycle that the title had no liens.

The judges also rejected the Dawsons’ argument that the trial court erred by denying their motion for summary judgment on their claim for equitable estoppel. The Dawsons cited no caselaw to support their arguments and failed to show that the bank’s acts or omissions were responsible for their loss by purchasing the motorcycle without knowledge of the lien to the extent that equity should be granted to them, Darden wrote.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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