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Folkening v. Petten

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 16, 2014

CHAD FOLKENING, DSL.COM, INC., and eCORP, INC. d/b/a eCORP.COM, INC., Appellants-Defendants,
v.
MEGAN VAN PETTEN n/k/a MEGAN VAN PETTEN WALTON, Appellee-Plaintiff

APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Patrick L. McCarty, Judge. Cause No. 49D03-1010-PL-45056.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: F. ANTHONY PAGANELLI, Paganelli Law Group, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: H. KIM TeKOLSTE, Indianapolis, Indiana.

CRONE, Judge. MATHIAS, J., concurs., RILEY, J., dissents with opinion.

OPINION

Page 819

CRONE, Judge

Case Summary

Megan Van Petten (now known as Megan Van Petten Walton) contracted with Chad Folkening to provide consulting services to one of his companies, eCorp, Inc. Later, Folkening obtained a loan to purchase some Shelbyville real estate. In exchange for Van Petten's co-signature on the loan, Folkening agreed to give her stock in another one of his companies, DSL.com, Inc., plus fifty percent ownership in the real estate. Van Petten terminated her consulting relationship with Folkening. She and Folkening then executed a settlement agreement and general release pursuant to which Folkening, eCorp, and DSL.com (collectively " Appellants" ) agreed, among other things, to purchase Van Petten's stock for $175,000 and either satisfy the mortgage on the real estate or convey the deed to Van Petten by certain dates. Appellants failed to do so.

More than six years later, Van Petten filed a complaint against Appellants, seeking judgment for $175,000 and conveyance of the deed to the property. The parties settled the property claim before trial. Appellants filed a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment asserting that Van Petten's claim was time-barred by Indiana Code Section 34-11-2-9, which imposes a six-year limitation period for actions on " written contracts for the payment of money[.]" Van Petten argued for the ten-year limitation period of Indiana Code Section 34-11-2-11, which applies to actions on written contracts " other than those for the payment of money[.]" The trial court denied Appellants' motions. After a bench trial, the court entered judgment in favor of Van Petten, concluding that Appellants breached the agreement and that the ten-year limitation period of Section 34-11-2-11 applied to Van Petten's claim because the Agreement " concerned more than just the payment of money[.]" Appellants' App. at 11.

Appellants contend that the trial court applied the wrong statute of limitations. We disagree and therefore affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

In January 2002, Van Petten contracted with Folkening to provide consulting services

Page 820

to eCorp, which Folkening owned. In November 2002, Folkening obtained a loan to purchase some Shelbyville real estate. In exchange for Van Petten's co-signature on the loan, Folkening agreed to provide her with ten percent ownership in DSL.com, which he also owned, and fifty percent ownership in the real estate.

In 2004, Van Petten terminated her consulting relationship with Folkening. Later that year, BuyTelco became interested in purchasing DSL.com and other Folkening assets. BuyTelco negotiated with Folkening to purchase the holdings for $3.5 million, with a tentative closing date of July 30, 2004. The closing was delayed several times, and the transaction was never finalized.

On July 26, 2004, four days before the expected closing date with BuyTelco, Folkening and Van Petten executed a settlement agreement and general release (" Agreement" ) ...


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