COA declines to rule on motion to compel due to lack of cogent argument

February 13, 2015

A couple awarded more than $7,600 following a car accident did not provide cogent argument or legal authority to support their claim a trial court erred in denying their motion to compel, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.

Karan and James Gilday sued Edward W. Ochoa and Jeanine L. Motsay after Karan Gilday and Motsay were involved in a car accident that was Motsay’s fault. They also filed a motion to compel or for Trial Rule 37 Sanctions, alleging Motsay didn’t produce certain communications, including those between her and her agents, and that they destroyed some documents.

The trial court awarded the Gildays $6,257.83 for automobile repair, $1,332 for vehicle rental, and $32.31 for repair travel time and mileage reimbursement. Judgment was only entered against Motsay as Ochoa had not caused any of the damages. The court declined to award the Gildays any additional damages.

In Karan L. Gilday, and James K. Gilday v. Jeanine L. Motsay, and Edward W. Ochoa, 49A04-1407-CT-323, Judge Melissa May wrote that the Gildays recovered what they were entitled to with respect to the damage to their vehicles and pre-judgment interest is not appropriate.

There was also no err by the trial court when it declined to rule on the couple’s motion to compel. The Gildays did not support any of the allegations against Motsay or Ochoa with cogent argument, legal authority or citation to the record. The Gildays mischaracterized the record in their pleadings and their reply brief.

“The Gildays’ mischaracterizations of the record before us are objectionable … their representation that the defendants spoliated evidence by destroying it might, if true, ‘directly affect the propriety of’ the trial court’s actions,” May wrote.

The judges also agreed with the trial court that the Gildays are not entitled to any attorney fees.


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