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Palmer v. Mellen

Illinois Court of Appeals
74 N.E.3d 1034 (2017)


Facts

In 1977, Albert and Rose Watkins created a family land trust and partnership to govern control of their 450 acres of land. In 2012, many of the 26 partners stated that they wished to be bought out of the partnership. Because the partnership did not have sufficient funds to accede to those requests, the Watkinses’ daughter, Martha Palmer, and 20 other partners (plaintiffs) began pursuing a sale of the land. Chris Mellen and Paul Mellen (defendants) objected to the sale. The plaintiffs claimed that the Mellens became verbally abusive to the other partners, including verbal and physical intimidation. They stated that the Mellens refused to participate in partnership meetings and refused to communicate with the plaintiffs regarding the partnership’s business. Chris was one of the partnership’s five managers, and unanimous consent was needed for certain partnership actions. The plaintiffs brought suit against the Mellens, seeking dissolution of the trust and partnership. The trial court granted the plaintiffs summary judgment and ordered dissolution of the partnership. The Mellens appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lytton, J.)

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