COA dismisses as premature appeal in breach-of-contract suit

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday dismissed as premature an appeal filed by a southern Indiana man who challenged a trial court order dismissing three of four defendants that he sued, claiming breach of contract in a real estate sales dispute.

In Shad Truelove v. Matthew Cully Kinnick, et al., 20A-PL-1814, Shad Truelove named four defendants — Matthew “Cully” Kinnick, Justine Kinnick, Jennifer Mapalad and Gerald Yarnell II — who he claimed breached a contract to sell property to him. Truelove sought specific performance of the sale of the property and filed a notice of lis pendens against the property.

The Martin Circuit Court dismissed all the defendants except Yarnell, prompting the instant appeal, which was rejected because the COA concluded it was not a final order and the dismissal of the three defendants was not an order that had been certified for interlocutory appeal.

“We sua sponte conclude that because the trial court’s order was neither a final judgment nor an appealable interlocutory order, Truelove has filed a premature appeal,” Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote for the panel. “We decline to disregard this premature appeal, and we dismiss the appeal without prejudice to his right to file an appeal once a final judgment has been entered or the order has been certified for an interlocutory appeal.”

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