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Detailed settlement agreement not specific enough for son to claim funds

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Although a settlement agreement worked out between siblings included details about who would receive the comic books, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled because the document did not specifically address the accounts receivable, one of the surviving sons would not be entitled to the money.

After George W. King Sr. died in 2001, his three children began fighting over the ownership of his many businesses. His daughter, Kay King, and her son, Christopher King, filed a complaint against her brothers, George King and Bob King, and against five of her father’s corporations and three partnerships.

In June 2003, the trial court appointed a receiver. About a year later, the receiver paid more than $2 million for the estate’s outstanding tax liabilities. He drew the bulk of the funds from one particular company, Crown Associates Inc. because that entity had more liquid assets available than the other businesses. The receiver credited Crown by creating an account receivable which in 2007 was valued at $687,278.

On Feb. 22, 2005, the siblings entered into a Term Sheet for Settlement of Litigation which represented their partial agreement on the broad outlines of asset distribution. As a part of that document, the assets and/or equity interest of Crown was conveyed to the son, George Dean King.  

Concluding the accounts receivable were not part of the assets, the trial court ruled the receiver should eliminate all inter-company accounts prior to transferring Crown to George King.

On appeal, George King argued the court abused its discretion when it approved the elimination of certain Crown accounts receivable prior to conveyance. He asserted the accounts receivable were still on the books when the Term Sheet was executed in February 2005.
 
The COA disagreed in George Dean King v. Kay S. King, et al., 49A02-1202-MF-73. It noted the receiver initially proposed that all receivership entities be liquidated with the proceeds being divided equally between the siblings. However, that goal was altered after the siblings executed the Term Sheet which made the assets included in each receivership entity important.  

While the Term Sheet divided a multitude of assets ranging from real estate to safety deposit boxes and even comic books, it did not address Crown’s accounts receivable.

“Given the level of detail embodied in the Term Sheet,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote, “the absence of a clear expression by the parties to repay the accounts receivable which had been expressly created by the Receiver during the Receivership and which existed during the execution of the Term Sheet, is evidence of intent that no such offset was bargained for.”


 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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