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Nicklas v. Von Tobel Corp.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 4, 2014

LORI NICKLAS, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
VON TOBEL CORPORATION, Individually, and d/b/a VON TOBEL LUMBER; and VON TOBEL LUMBER COMPANY, INC., Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 576

APPEAL FROM THE PORTER SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable William E. Alexa, Judge. Cause No. 64D02-1302-CC-1598.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: SEAN E. KENYON, MICHAEL L. MEYER, Hoeppner Wagner & Evans, Merrillville, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: TIMOTHY C. KRSAK, Douglas Koeppen & Hurley, Valparaiso, Indiana.

ROBB, Judge. RILEY, J., and BRADFORD, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 577

ROBB, Judge

Case Summary and Issue

Lori Nicklas (" Lori" ) appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Von Tobel Corporation (" Von Tobel" ) and its denial of her summary judgment motion. Lori raises three issues for review, which we consolidate and restate as whether the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff Von Tobel and against Lori after Von Tobel had obtained a judgment against her co-defendant, Shawn Nicklas (" Shawn" ) in the same proceeding. Concluding summary judgment in favor of Von Tobel was proper, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

The facts in this case are undisputed. In July 2009, Lori and Shawn executed a promissory note in favor of Von Tobel with a principle amount of $35,000. The note was to be paid in full by January 15, 2012. When the note matured and a balance remained, Von Tobel sought to obtain a judgment on the note in the amount of $30,548.22 plus interest and attorney fees as permitted by the note's terms. Von Tobel named both Shawn and Lori as defendants, as the two were jointly and severally liable to Von Tobel under the note. Shawn entered into an Agreed Judgment with Von Tobel for the full amount of the principal owed, in addition to interest and attorney fees, for a total of $34,696.89.[1] After Lori filed her answer, Von Tobel moved for summary judgment against her, seeking a judgment on the principal and for interest and attorney fees. Lori filed a cross-motion for summary judgment arguing Von Tobel had been fully compensated through its settlement with Shawn, and was not entitled to any further recovery.[2] After a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Von Tobel and denied Lori's cross-motion for summary judgment. Lori now appeals.

Discussion and Decision

I. Standard of Review

When reviewing a summary judgment ruling, we apply the same standard as the trial court. F.B.I. Farms, Inc. v. Moore, 798 N.E.2d 440, 444 (Ind. 2003). A party is entitled to summary judgment only upon a showing that there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Ind. Trial Rule 56(C). All facts and inferences are to be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Meredith v. Pence, 984 N.E.2d 1213, 1218 (Ind. 2013). When there are competing summary judgment motions, our analysis is ...


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