Indiana Appellate Court Dismisses Appeal Of Order Denying Supplemental Proceedings Based On Procedural Deficiency


The Court of Appeals of Indiana recently dismissed an appeal filed by H & S Financial, Inc. (“H&S”) which sought to challenge an order “which precluded H&S from pursuing proceedings supplemental to enforce a 2003 small claims judgment[i] obtained by C1 Center against Donald Parnell.” H & S Fin., Inc. v. Parnell, 214 N.E.3d 1030, 1032 (Ind. Ct. App. 2023). Although H&S claimed it was entitled to pursue supplemental proceedings to enforce the 2003 judgment, the appellate court dismissed the appeal refusing to consider the appeal on its merits because H&S failed to comply with the procedural requirements of Indiana Trial Rule 69(E) and therefore was a non-party.


The pertinent provision of Rule 69, pertaining to supplemental proceedings, required that the “plaintiff” allege that it “owns the described judgment against the defendant.” Ind. R. Trial P. 69(E)(1). The appellate court pointed out that H&S had “inartfully” filed a “Motion to Plaintiff Change” but then failed to address the motion during hearing proceedings on that and other motions pertaining the supplemental proceedings.[ii] Despite the procedural requirement to do so, H&S failed to “proffer testimony, affidavits, or an evidentiary exhibit” showing that it now owned the 2003 judgment.[iii] As the Court noted, the order denying H&S relief “still listed C1 Center as the named plaintiff.”[iv] The Court concluded that it could not award relief to a non-party.[v]


Notably, the Court also pointed out errors that the lower court had made in its interpretation of Indiana Code Section 34-55-9-2(2) pertaining to Indiana’s statute of limitations.[vi] The lower court denied H&S’s motion for supplemental proceedings finding the statute of limitation expired in February 2013, “ten years after the judgment was obtained.” Noting the trial court’s error, the appellate court distinguished judgment liens from the judgment itself pointing out the former expire after ten years, but the latter “is still valid” and “proceedings supplemental are available” for a total of 20 years from the judgment date after which time the judgment is presumed satisfied under Indiana Code section 33-11-2-12.[vii] The Court also noted that even after the judgment is presumed satisfied, that presumption can be rebutted so a judgment can be enforced “ad infinitum.”[viii]

[i] The judgment, entered on February 13, 2003, was for $1,010.16. Parnell, at *1032.

[ii] Parnell, at *1033, 1035.

[iii] Parnell, at *1033.

[iv] Parnell, at *1034.

[v] Parnell, at *1036.

[vi] Parnell, at *1034. Future references to this case are to this citation until indicated otherwise.

[vii] Notably, that presumption is rebuttable because a judgment does not expire, nor is it destroyed after 20 years, rather, per the statute it is presumed satisfied but if non-payment is proven “a judgment holder may still seek to satisfy [it].” Parnell, at *1034.

[viii] Parnell, at *1034-5.