COA remands to TC on issue of attorney fees with instructions that parties present additional evidence

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Defendants-Appellants Victor Zelinsky (Victor), Patsy M. Zelinsky (Patsy), and North Side Carry Out, Inc. appeal the trial court’s entry of summary judgment and award of attorney fees in favor of Plaintiff/Appellee First Farmers Bank&Trust (Bank). Appellants present three issues for our review which we restate as:

(1) Whether the trial court erred by entering summary judgment in favor of the Bank.

(2) Whether the trial court’s entry of judgment was improperly premature.

(3) Whether the trial court erred by awarding attorney fees to the Bank.
Conclusion (slip op. at 10-11):  We conclude that the trial court properly entered summary judgment in favor of Bank. Further, we conclude that Appellants failed to establish any prejudice in support of their claim that the trial court’s judgment was improperly premature, and that there was insufficient evidence presented as to attorney fees. Accordingly, we remand this case to the trial court on the issue of attorney fees only, with instructions to request the parties to present additional evidence for an accurate determination of the award.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 10):  The factor that causes us pause is the fact that the only evidence produced to support the claimed amount of attorney fees is the affidavit of an employee of Bank. Jones’ affidavit merely attests to his belief that the attorney fees are reasonable. Significantly, it fails to provide evidence that proves the amount due . . . Jones’ affidavit does not provide sufficient evidence with which the trial court could determine a reasonable amount of attorney fees.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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