ILNews

Court rules on bank interpleader case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court has issued a decision on how a state statute governs recovery when a financial institution interpleads and pays into court-deposited funds that are subject to an adverse claim.

A unanimous opinion came Wednesday in Porter Development, LLC v. First National Bank of Valparaiso, No.64S04-0606-CV-236, stemming from a Porter Superior case involving the bank and the development company.

First National initiated the action as an interpleader, alleging it was the holder of a $100,000 certificate of deposit owned by Porter Development and eventually assigned to another party, Eagle Services Corp., which refused to consent for withdrawing the funds as the development company wanted. Both asserted their rights to the deposit and filed suits.

The trial court determined the assignment to Eagle Services was invalid and Porter Development was the true owner, but it granted summary judgment to the bank on the interpleader action and partial summary judgment to Porter on a request to recover attorney fees and costs. The Court of Appeals affirmed that decision, and now the justices have done the same.

"We conclude that Indiana's Adverse Claim Interpleader statute is mandatory and establishes the right of a depository financial institution that pays funds subject to an adverse claim into a court 'to recover and collect the costs and expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by the depository financial institution'...."Justice Brent Dickson wrote. "We hold, however, that such a right to recovery only includes those costs and expenses that are extended in bringing a proper interpleader, or successfully defending its use of interpleader."

Justices reversed the trial court's partial summary judgment denying the bank attorney fees, remanding it to determine reasonable expenses and how Eagle Services - if at all - should be involved in the payment.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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