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. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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