ILNews

Question over landlord’s actions divide Indiana Court of Appeals

Marilyn Odendahl
September 19, 2013
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The Indiana Court of Appeals split over what duties a landlord has to re-lease a commercial space when the current tenant is behind on payments.

Fernando Tudela leased space in an Evansville shopping center from Silco LLC. He quickly fell behind in his payments and eventually Silco filed a complaint for breach of the lease agreement, ejectment, foreclosure of mortgage and conversion.

After the trial court granted summary judgment to Silco, Tudela raised multiple issues on appeal.

In Lily, Inc. d/b/a Weinbach Caferteria and Fernando Tudela v Silco, LLC, 82A05-1209-PL-459, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part the trial court’s order granting summary judgment to Silco. It also reversed and remanded for consideration issues related to attorney fees, mitigation of damages and accounting.

Tudela asserted that Silco did not try to find a new tenant. Specifically, the landlord designated no evidence that it made any effort to re-let the premises and therefore failed to use reasonable diligence to mitigate damages.

Silco countered that Tudela’s deposition was improperly designated and he presented no evidence of his claims.

The Court of Appeals observed that Tudela did designate his deposition and pointed to specific portions in his response to Silco’s motion for summary judgment. Silco also designated portions of Tudela’s deposition.

Writing for the majority, Judge Elaine Brown concluded that based on the designated evidence there is a “genuine issue of fact as to whether Silco failed to use reasonable diligence to mitigate damages.”

Judge Patricia Riley concurred with the COA’s affirmation of the trial court in granting summary judgment to Silco. However, she found no material issues of fact remaining based on the designated evidence as to both attorneys and mitigation of damages.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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