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Appeals court upholds dismissal of Star appeal on rehearing

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The Indiana Court of Appeals granted The Indianapolis Star’s request for rehearing regarding the court’s decision to dismiss the newspaper’s appeal of a discovery order, but the court once again voted 2-1 to dismiss the appeal.

Chief Judge Margret Robb signed the eight-page order on rehearing in which Judges Edward Najam and Elaine Brown affirmed the Dec. 7, 2012, published order dismissing appeal over this matter. Judge Rudolph Pyle III dissented as he did previously.

This is the second time this case has come before the COA; the first time, the judges sent the case back to the trial court to determine whether the newspaper has to identify an online user whose comment is part of a defamation lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Miller, former CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. The trial court has since ordered The Star to produce the name.

The Court of Appeals voted late last year 2-1 that the discovery order isn’t a final judgment and the court has no jurisdiction over the case.

Typically, the appeals court will deny a rehearing petition when a party offers new arguments on rehearing, but the judges decided to address the four arguments raised by The Star in its petition. The newspaper contended that this appeal came to the court by the same procedural route as the first appeal; that In re WTHR-TV, 693 N.E.2d 1 (Ind. 1998), allows the appeals court to disregard Rule 14(B) trial court certification requirement for a discretionary interlocutory appeal and to decide this case on the merits; that the discovery order didn’t comply with Trial Rule 34(C) and the noncompliant order can’t evade the jurisdiction of the COA; and that Appellate Rule 66(B) should be available to save this appeal from procedural default.

The majority held that no authority suggests that the traditional right to appeal preserved in the Indiana Constitution includes the right to a direct appeal from interlocutory orders; that the newspaper’s reliance on WTHR-TV is misplaced; and Rule 66(B) won’t salvage a total failure to comply with Trial Rule 54(B).

The order is In re Indiana Newspapers Inc d/b/a The Indianapolis Star v. Jeffrey M. Miller, et al., 49A02-1211-PL-898.

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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