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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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