ILNews

Moving chattel for suit doesn't establish venue

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In its opinion today regarding a breach of warranty case, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to define for the first time what "regularly located or kept" meant for purposes of Indiana Trial Rule 75(A)(2).

In Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. v. Joseph and Dawn Cronin, No. 48A02-0808-CV-686, Gulf Stream Coach appealed the denial of its motion to transfer venue to Elkhart County from Madison County. Joseph and Dawn Cronin, who lived in Pennsylvania, filed a suit against the RV maker after they claim they began having various problems with the RV just a few months after purchase. The Cronins left the RV in a parking lot in Anderson, Ind., in February 2006 and filed its complaint in September 2006 in Madison Circuit Court. Gulf Stream argued Elkhart County was the preferred venue because that's where the company's principal office is located. The trial court denied the company's motion to dismiss or transfer, ruling the RV was regularly kept in Madison County for several months before the suit was filed and continues to be there.

In determining whether Madison County also qualified as a preferred venue, the Court of Appeals examined Rule 75(A)(2) and focused on the meaning of "regularly." The appellate court discovered the meaning of "regularly" hadn't been the subject of any Indiana appellate opinions.

Gulf Stream argued the motor home was brought to Madison County only for purposes of the litigation and therefore wasn't "regularly" located or kept in the county.

Because the Cronins have no connection to Madison County other than the litigation, the Court of Appeals deduced the couple seemed to have either picked Madison County for purposes of the litigation and then chose an attorney, or picked an attorney in Madison County and then brought the RV to that county, wrote Judge Patricia Riley.

The trial court was incorrect to rule that because the motor home sat in the parking lot for seven months that it was "regularly located or kept" there. Using the Webster's Dictionary definition of "regular," the appellate court ruled the RV was brought to Madison County for the purposes of the litigation and that the use of "regularly" in the trial rule was included to prevent a party from establishing preferred venue by simply moving chattel to a certain location in anticipation of a lawsuit, she wrote.

"As such, we hold that, when a party moves a chattel to a county, whether from out-of-state or from another Indiana county, solely for purposes of litigation, that county does not become the county where the chattel is "regularly located and kept" under Rule 75(A)(2) and therefore is not a preferred venue under Rule 75," she wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

ADVERTISEMENT