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COA: Bank lacks standing to appeal trust terminations

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Old National Bancorp cannot appeal the termination of two trusts it served as a representative of, either in the representative capacity or on an individual capacity, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. As such, the court dismissed the appeal.

Old National was trustee of the Hanover College Trust and the Goodrich Trust when Hanover College petitioned to terminate both trusts. The trial court granted the petition in February and ordered Old National to transfer the trust assets to the college. Old National did not seek a stay of the judgment and transferred the assets. It later brought appeals in its capacity as trustee in both cases, which were consolidated.

The trial court granted Hanover College’s motion to dismiss on the ground that the bank lack standing to bring the appeal.

The COA found Union Savings & Trust Co. v. Eddingfield, 78 Ind. App. 286, 134 N.E. 497 (1922), and Simon v. Simon, 957 N.E. 2d 980 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011),  instructive in this matter.

Once the trusts terminated, the bank’s representative capacity was terminated along with any power or ability to act on behalf of the trusts, so Old National cannot maintain this appeal in its representative capacity, Senior Judge Carr Darden wrote in Old National Bancorp d/b/a Old National Trust Company, as Trustee of the Percy E. Goodrich Trust and the Hanover College Trust v. Hanover College, 68A05-1303-TR-111.

Old National argued it brought the appeal in its individual capacity, but the judges quickly dismissed the claim. The bank never moved to intervene in its individual capacity.

“Merely because Old National is aggrieved by losing the business and corresponding revenue that is involved in holding the position of trustee and administering trust assets does not automatically confer standing,” Darden wrote.

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