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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

ADVERTISEMENT