An Illinois company brought suit in the Superior Court of Lake County, Indiana, against an Indiana company whose affiliated Illinois company purchased construction equipment, claiming that the purchaser acquired the equipment from a third party that did not have title to the equipment, and effectively converted its property. The plaintiff sued under Indiana’s Crime Victim Recovery Act (“CVRA”), which allows recovery of treble damages and attorney’s fees if the plaintiff proves the elements of certain crimes (including conversion) by a preponderance of the evidence.
Johnson & Bell Attorney, Adam J. Sedia, defended the purchaser, and moved to dismiss under Indiana’s forum non conveniens provision in Trial Rule 4.4. Sedia argued that the case should have been brought in Illinois, where the purchase was transacted – and which does not have a statute as generous to plaintiffs as the CVRA. On November 17, 2023, the court granted the purchaser’s motion, ruling that Illinois was a more appropriate forum and dismissing the Indiana case.