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Gerdt Furniture owners embroiled in $4M court fight

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A family dispute involving the owners of Gerdt Furniture & Interiors Inc. has led to a lawsuit accusing them of owing nearly $4 million in unpaid rent and loans.

Landlord George Gerdt is suing his younger brother, John, and John's wife, Cheryl, in addition to the retail business they operate, in Marion Superior Court.

The lawsuit follows the announced closing in December of the flagship Gerdt Furniture store in Southport, ending a 54-year run for the business. Commercials airing on local television stations say the store is in its final days of a closeout sale, but a salesperson answering the phone at the store said it would be open at least through March.
A Gerdt store in Castleton that opened in 1986 was closed late last year. Gerdt also opened a store along U.S. 36 in Avon in 2006, but closed it in 2009.

According to his complaint, George Gerdt owns the two buildings that housed the furniture stores in Southport and Castleton. He claims Gerdt Furniture & Interiors owes $870,000 in unpaid rent at the Southport location and $580,000 in unpaid rent at the Castleton location.

George Gerdt also says Gerdt Furniture & Interiors defaulted on a $2 million note and owes $408,579 on another loan.

In addition, he accuses John Gerdt of withholding collateral for the two notes, including proceeds from recent “going out of business” sales, the lawsuit says.

Reached by phone, Cheryl Gerdt declined to discuss the lawsuit, saying it’s “a family matter.”

Lynette Gray, a Franklin attorney representing George Gerdt, who resides in Florida, didn't return calls from IBJ seeking comment.

Edward Gerdt, the father of George and John, opened his original Southport store in 1959 after saving enough money to realize his dream of operating his own business. He had been a detective for the city of Indianapolis. The business moved to a bigger Southport store in 1992.

In a statement announcing the closure of the business in December, John Gerdt said, “Gerdt Furniture is a part of the history in Indianapolis and we have loved being a part of so many families’ lives. But there comes a time to move on, and [Cheryl] and I have decided to retire while we can still offer our customers the quality merchandise and service we are known for.”

IBJ is a sister publication of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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