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Justices take 4 cases

February 5, 2013

The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases last week, including three that involved divided lower court rulings.

In Ann L. Miller and Richard A. Miller v. Glenn L. Dobbs, D.O., and Partners In Health, 15S05-1302-CT-91, the majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for Dr. Glenn Dobbs and Partners in Health on the issue of whether Ann and Richard Miller’s proposed medical malpractice complaint was timely filed with the Department of Insurance.

Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented, claiming that Judge James Kirsch created a new test to determine whether a complaint is timely filed and shifted the burden of ensuring fees are paid to the DOI instead of the attorney. In this case, the attorney did not include the $7 filing fee when mailing the complaint, but sent the fee on the date the statute of limitations expired.

Jeremiah Cline v. State of Indiana, 06S05-1302-MI-92, has a dissent from Chief Judge Margret Robb, in which she believed that the trial court has authority to “expunge” Jeremiah Cline’s existing information from the state Sex Offender Registry. The majority agreed with Cline that he has no obligation to register but that he must go through the Department of Correction to remove his name.

In Heather N. Kesling v. Hubler Nissan, Inc., 49S02-1302-CT-89, the Court of Appeals was divided as to whether Hubler Nissan was entitled to summary judgment on Heather Kesling’s lawsuit that made Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Crime Victims Relief Act, and fraud claims. A little more than a year after she bought the car, she sued and an inspector found the car was unsafe to drive.

The majority found an issue of material fact as to whether Hubler made a representation in its advertisement that the car Kesling bought had performance, uses or benefits that it didn’t have and that the dealer should have known that the car didn’t have those characteristics. Judge Ezra Friedlander dissented, believing the ad did not run afoul of the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

The Supreme Court also took Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., successor in interest to The Money Store Investment Corp., f/d/b/a First Union Small Business Capital v. Neal A. Summers, et al., 02S04-1302-CP-90. The Court of Appeals initially dismissed the appeal, finding Wells Fargo failed to timely file its notice of appeal. It later affirmed most of the $627,000 judgment in favor of restaurant operator Neal Summers, who was sued by former mortgagors. The COA did order recalculation of a judgment based on Summer’s restaurant’s earnings.

The justices declined to take 12 cases on transfer.

 

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