Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Father has no standing to insert self into legal action involving daughter: appeals court

State Court

By John Breslin | Oct 16, 2019


ALTON - The father of a woman involved in a dispute with a financing and investment company over the purchase of a property has no standing to appeal a lower court judgment in the case, an appeals panel has ordered.

Michael Storey, the father of Alton resident Misty Soliben, represented himself when filing a notice to appeal a decision by Madison County Circuit Court in a case involving Carbondale-based company, Sabre Group LLC.

But, the appeals court found that Storey was never named as a party in any contract - or competing legal filing - linked to the dispute over how much Soliben owed on a property on Storey Lane in Alton. Storey resided at the property.

"Where the appellant asserts a claim based upon the rights of someone other than himself, he lacks standing to prosecute this appeal, and the appeal must be dismissed," Fifth District Appellate Court Justice Thomas Welch wrote, Justices David Overstreet and Mark Boie both concurring with the judgment and order.

In its filing arguing for dismissal, Sabre stated that Storey "lacks standing to prosecute an appeal from an order determining the rights and obligations of two contracting parties, neither of whom is Storey."

"Sabre is clearly correct on this point," Welch concluded. "Storey did not have a legally cognizable interest in the sale contract."

The underlying court actions included a breach of contract claim, and an allegation of extortion, by Soliben against Sabre over the 2013 contract for sale of the Alton real state. Her 2016 filing was immediately followed by a forcible entry and detainer action against Soliben.

Under the agreement, Solien was to pay a total of $16,674, with a down payment of  $10,235, which she claims to have paid, and the remainder to follow shortly after. A financial contingency provision was added that, if she did not pay the remainder by a certain date, which she was not able to, the balance would be cleared over 18 months at 6.5 percent interest.

In testimony, Soliben stated that there was "a bunch of stuff" in the final contract of deed, including provisions relating to insurance, that were not in the sale contract. She did not sign.

It emerged in court documents that, in March 2015, Sabre sent Soliben a demand letter for a pay off $14,342. In July 2016, Sabre served a notice demanding $18,481 within 30 days.

In June, 2017, the circuit court ordered that $11,569 Soliben deposited in an escrow account be transferred to Sabre within seven days. It also stated that Soliben should pay $15,529 within 120 days.

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