ILNews

COA: Priest abuse suit can proceed

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Court of Appeals this week declined to take an interlocutory appeal on a case accusing the Archdiocese of Indianapolis of covering up an ex-priest's history of sexual abuse.

In denying the case of Archdiocese of Indianapolis, et al. v. John Doe NM, 49A05-0802-CV-00075, the court has given its go ahead for the Marion County civil suit to proceed to trial; it would be the first of 13 against the archdiocese to survive summary judgment. The suit was brought by a former altar boy who alleged abuse by the Rev. Harry Monroe and fraud in that the archdiocese knew of previous abuse when it transferred Monroe to St. Catherine's Parish in Indianapolis more than three decades ago.

At issue was when the statute of limitations started running on a fraud claim against the archdiocese, but not on the abuse-related claims against the former priest. In December, Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed refused to grant the archdiocese's motion for summary judgment on grounds that the six-year statute of limitations on fraud began running in 2005, when the plaintiff John Doe NM learned that the archdiocese had known of other abuse before transferring the former priest to other locations. Attorneys for the archdiocese had argued the claim came too late - about 20 years after the statute expired - and filed an interlocutory appeal in February.

A docket entry dated April 7 shows that the court's three-judge panel unanimously denied jurisdiction, but it doesn't provide an explanation. No trial level proceedings have been scheduled. Another case against the archdiocese remains pending in the appellate court, with the court on Monday also ordering a Louisville, Ky., attorney to file an amended petition for temporary admission to practice in Indiana.
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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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