Court erred by correcting error after appeal began

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An Indiana trial court erred in a case over unpaid elevator repair bills by granting the plaintiffs’ motion to correct error after the case already had gone up to the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The appellate court on Monday affirmed the original order of the Vanderburgh Superior Court that awarded L.M. Zeller $26,729 in damages plus prejudgment interest on claims that it was owed nearly $45,000 for service work performed on an Evansville building owned by Sollers Point Co.

However, after Sollers Point appealed and the clerk completed the appellate record, the trial court granted Zeller’s motion to correct error, awarding additional sums.

“The trial court lacked jurisdiction to rule on Zeller’s motion to correct error, and we reverse the trial court’s order granting this motion,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote for the panel in Sollers Point Company, Sollers Point Limited Partnership, and Shapiro Family, LLC v. L.M. Zeller and Zeller Elevator Company, 19A-CC-1156.

However, the panel found no other grounds to rule for Sollers Point on its appeal of the trial court’s original order. The COA found the trial court properly excluded some $18,000 from Zeller’s 2011 invoices. The company, which had serviced the building for several decades, invoiced charges for some services that had been performed five to six years prior, well outside the statute of limitations.

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