Subcontractor's suit belongs in Hamilton County

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The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the denial by an Allen Circuit judge to remove a lawsuit brought in that county to Hamilton County, where two parties to the lawsuit had agreed in a contract any legal claims would be handled.

In City of Carmel, through its Redevelopment Commission v. Crider & Crider, Inc., Hagerman Construction Corporation, 02A04-1208-PL-416, the city of Carmel argued that the lawsuit brought in Allen County by Crider & Crider Inc. against Hagerman Construction Company and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, which involved a cross-claim brought by Hagerman against the CRC, should be heard in Hamilton County. The CRC and Hagerman entered into a contract for the company to be the prime contractor to perform limestone and concrete work during the construction of the Carmel Performing Arts Center. Their contract dictated that lawsuits should be filed in Hamilton County.

Crider, who was hired as a subcontractor by Hagerman to perform excavation work, sued Hagerman and CRC, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts denied the CRC’s request the complaint be transferred to Hamilton County. Hagerman filed a cross-complaint against the CRC alleging it should be liable for any damages recovered by Crider on its complaint against Hagerman.

Hagerman and Crider claim that Allen County is the preferred venue under Trial Rule 75; the CRC maintains Trial Rule 21 applies.

“While the preferred venue analysis in Trial Rule 75 would normally govern a case where the plaintiff has not contractually agreed to a particular venue, Trial Rule 75 is trumped in this case by Trial Rule 21(B),” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote. “After Crider filed its complaint against CRC and Hagerman, Hagerman filed a cross-claim against CRC. Due to the venue selection clause between Hagerman and CRC, it is clear that venue lies in Hamilton County as to the cross-claim between them.”

“All of the parties here agree that the original complaint and the cross-claim are ‘inextricably intertwined’ and should be decided together. Thus, Hamilton County is the appropriate venue for the entire matter,” the court concluded.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.