The opinion of the court was delivered by: Will, District Judge.
Katherine Bradford filed this action against Muinzer Moving
& Storage Co., Michael Muinzer, and Bekins Company, seeking
damages for the wrongful sale of household goods which had
been packed, moved, and stored by the defendants. Bradford has
moved for summary judgment against Michael Muinzer and Muinzer
Moving & Storage on the issue of liability. For the reasons
stated below, we grant Bradford's motion.
In August 1974, Bradford hired Muinzer and Bekins to pack
and transport her household belongings from Chicago to
Florida. According to the Interstate Order for Service
prepared at this time, her goods were valued at $35,000. As
ordered, Bekins packed and shipped the goods to Muinzer's
warehouse in Lafayette, Indiana where they were to be stored
pending later shipment to Florida. The goods remained in the
warehouse until July 1978.
In May 1978, Muinzer decided to sell Bradford's property to
pay the $3,000 to $4,000 in overdue shipping and storage
charges. On May 20, Muinzer sent a letter to Bradford at the
Lafayette, Indiana address she had put on the Interstate Order
for Service, demanding payment of the overdue charges. The
letter stated that Muinzer claimed a lien on the goods in the
amount of $3,295.01 and warned that if Bradford did not pay
the charges by May 28, "the goods will be duly advertised for
sale and sold at public auction." This letter was returned,
unopened, to Muinzer.
On June 8, 15, and 22, 1978, Muinzer placed a notice of sale
with a local newspaper, The Lafayette Leader, stating that "Lot
366566-Katherine Bradford" would be sold on June 26, 1978. The
goods were not sold on this date, however, and on July 20 and
27, 1978, Muinzer placed a similar notice of sale with the
paper. This notice read:
Notice is hereby given that the undersigned
pursuant to the provision of Chapter 182 of the
acts of the Indiana General Assembly of 1919 will
Lot 366566- -Katherine Bradford
Anyone wanting to know the exact time and date.
Contact Muinzer Moving and Storage Co.