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Trouble with the Curves: Ex-husband still owes for franchise’s default

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A couple’s failure to inform a landlord of their divorce doesn’t excuse the ex-husband from a default judgment on rent payments for a health club that his former wife continued to run.

Lori and Dan Cole ran a Curves for Women franchise in Angola and rented space from the Flying Cat, LLC, beginning in 2001. They separated in 2005 and filed for divorce in 2007.

The Curves franchise owed back rent of $21,641 when Lori Cole signed an option to renew the lease in 2008. By 2010 the landlord was owed $44,647. Flying Cat sued and the Steuben Circuit Court ruled that Dan was liable for amounts due and unpaid through 2010.

The Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday in Curves for Women Angola An Indiana Partnership, Dan Cole, and Lori Cole v. Flying Cat, LLC, 76A04-1206-PL-312. The court rejected arguments that Dan Cole was no longer in partnership with his ex-wife and that he was not liable under lease extensions signed by his ex-wife in the name of the partnership through which the franchise originally leased the space.

“Even after a partnership has been dissolved, a partner may still bind the partnership by engaging in a transaction that would bind the partnership had it not been dissolved, if the other party to the transaction had known of the partnership prior to dissolution but had no knowledge or notice of the dissolution because ‘the fact of dissolution had not been advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the place … the partnership business was regularly carried on,” Judge Paul Mathias noted, citing I.C. § 23-4-3-35(1)(b)(II).




 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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