Pearman v. Martin, 21A-CC-759

Citation21A-CC-759
Case DateSeptember 21, 2022
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Curt Pearman, d/b/a Forest Park-Pearman, Appellant-Plaintiff,
v.

Rande L. Martin and R.L. Martin Associates, Inc., d/b/a Management Recruiters of Richmond, Appellee-Defendant.

No. 21A-CC-759

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 21, 2022


Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the Wayne Superior Court The Honorable Gregory A. Horn, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 89D02-1508-CC-524

APPELLANT, PRO SE

Curt Pearman

Lake Placid, Florida

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE

John R. Maley

Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Indianapolis, Indiana

MEMORANDUM DECISION

Pyle, Judge.

1

Statement of the Case

[¶1] This case returns after a previous panel of this Court reversed a summary judgment entered in favor of Rande L. Martin and R. L. Martin Associates, Inc. d/b/a Management Recruiters of Richmond (collectively, "Martin") and against Curt Pearman d/b/a Forest Park-Pearman ("Pearman"). This Court reversed the trial court's summary judgment order that had found that Martin's lease with Pearman was a month-to-month holdover. This Court held that the lease agreement between the two parties was a one-year tenancy created by Martin's holdover and remanded the case back to the trial court to determine damages. The trial court, after receiving briefs from the parties and holding multiple hearings, ordered Martin to pay Pearman damages. Pearman, pro se, now appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by not allowing the parties to submit additional evidence related to the amount of damages. Concluding that the trial court did not err when it refused to allow the parties to submit additional evidence to determine damages, we affirm the trial court's summary judgment order.

[¶2] We affirm.

Issue

Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it refused to allow the parties to submit additional evidence to determine damages
2

Facts[1]

[¶3] The relevant facts of this case, as stated by our Court in an unpublished memorandum decision, are as follows:

In April of 2006 Martin was a commercial tenant in the Forest Park building when it was purchased by Pearman. In January 2008, the parties entered into a written lease agreement (the Lease) whereby Martin leased office space located in the Forest Park building from Pearman. The lease was for a period of thirty-eight months, running from February 1, 2008 through March 31, 2011

Pearman v. Martin, 18A-CC-239 at *1 (Ind.Ct.App. Nov. 7 2018), trans. denied. The Lease contained a provision that allowed for Martin to extend the lease for a five-year period so long as Martin gave Pearman notice of Martin's intent to renew 180 days before the Lease ended.

[¶4] Throughout 2011 and 2012, Martin and Pearman corresponded through email regarding the terms of the Lease. These facts are the core of the previous appeal. Ultimately, Martin vacated the property in May 2013.

3

[¶5] The relevant facts of the underlying litigation are as follows:

On August 12, 2015, Pearman filed suit against Martin. Both sides moved for summary judgment. The trial court held a hearing on the cross-motions for summary judgment on August 4, 2016. In an order dated November 14, 2016, the trial court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Martin, noting that there really is no dispute between the parties as to the relevant facts, and that Martin did not exercise the option to renew the lease. Pearman filed a motion to correct error. After a hearing, the trial court issued an order in which it rejected Pearman's argument that Martin [had] exercised the option to extend the lease by paying the annual increased rent.
The parties then filed cross-motions for summary judgment on the nature of Martin's holdover tenancy. The trial court held a hearing to consider these motions on December 7, 2017. In an order dated December 21, 2017, the trial court granted Martin's motion for summary judgment and denied Pearman's motion for summary judgment. Specifically, the trial court determined that where a tenant holds over following a multi-year lease, the result is a fixed one-year tenancy. Further, the court determined that any subsequent holdover after the one-year term creates a general, month-to-month tenancy that can be terminated with thirty days' notice. The court therefore concluded that Martin gave adequate notice and that thereafter, no further lease term existed and no further rent was due and owing from Martin to Pearman. The court entered final judgment in favor of Martin.

Id. at *3 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

[¶6] On appeal, in November 2018, our Court affirmed in part and reversed in part. Specifically, our Court held that the trial court was correct in identifying that a

4

year-to-year tenancy had been created after the expiration of the Lease. Id. at *6. Further, our Court stated:

[T]he original lease term expired on March 31, 2011. Martin remained in possession of the premises and continued to make rent payments that Pearman accepted without reservation. This created a one-year tenancy. After the expiration of this one-year tenancy, Martin again remained in possession and paid rent that Pearman accepted without reservation, thereby creating another one-year tenancy. When Martin continued to pay the rent after this tenancy expired, a third one-year tenancy commenced. Martin terminated this tenancy and vacated the premises two months later and with ten months remaining. The trial court erred in finding that no further lease term existed and no further rent is due and owing from Martin to Pearman. The trial
...

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