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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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