SYRACUSE — On Monday, Dec. 9, Judge Christopher D. Kehler, Kosciusko Superior Court No. 4, ruled there was insufficient details in the civil fraud allegations again Dustin Johns, Travel Lite owner, and his wife, Lindsey Johns. The fraud suit was filed by Michael DeWitt in reference to a purchase agreement for a home and land.
However, DeWitt has 10 days, pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 15(A) to amend his complaint filed on Oct. 3. Failure to amend the complaint may result in a dismissal with prejudice.
Judge Kehler filed the order partially sustaining defendants’ motion to dismiss stating that DeWitt’s complaint fails to specify the circumstances in sufficient detail to constitute alleged fraud and fails to specify the time, place, substance of false representations, facts misrepresented and identification of what was procured by fraud in sufficient detail.
The case was opened on Sept. 20, by DeWitt. On Sept. 30, the Johns filed a motion for enlargement of time within which to answer or otherwise respond. In the original complaint, DeWitt filed against the Johns for fraud, breach of contract, specific performance and violations of the Indiana Uniform Securities Act. He filed an amended complaint on Oct. 3, adding that an additional contract, the stock purchase agreement, was also breached.
The complaints state that on or around July 20, 2018, Johns and DeWitt entered into a purchase agreement. Johns purchased a home and land valued at $4 million on North East Wawasee Drive from DeWitt in exchange for Travel Lite stock valued at $2.1 million, $1.9 million in cash and $15,000 earnest money deposited. Johns reiterated the value of the stock when entering a stock purchase agreement with DeWitt on Aug. 2. DeWitt’s complaint states that Johns intentionally and knowingly misrepresented the value of the Travel Lite stock by providing fraudulent financial statements.
The Johns responded with a motion to dismiss filed on Oct. 30. The motion argues that both the original complaint and amended complaint against the Johns should be dismissed since DeWitt failed to plead the claim of fraud with sufficient particularity. A hearing was then scheduled to take place on Dec. 26.
In response, DeWitt filed a request for the court to rule without a hearing in order to avoid any further delay in the litigation on Nov. 7.
The ruling to dismiss due to insufficient details was then handed down by Judge Kehler with DeWitt given the opportunity to amend his complaint and provide the necessary detail within 10 days.
The hearing for Dec. 26, was cancelled.