COA: exhaust administrative remedies before filing appeal

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Because a manufacturer didn’t exhaust its administrative remedies regarding a challenge to a search of its Indianapolis facility by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the manufacturer’s appeal.

In In Re The Matter of a Search Warrant Regarding the Following Real Estate, Sensient Flavors, LLC v. Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 49A02-1109-MC-844, the federal government had concerns about the use of flavoring chemicals, including diacetyl, at Sensient Flavors’ facility. The company makes flavoring for food and beverages. A union became concerned about possible respiratory problems and the use of the chemicals and asked for a health hazard evaluation by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health. A report issued by the agency in 2011 found employees experienced respiratory conditions due to exposure to food-flavoring chemicals, including diacetyl.

The Indiana commissioner of labor petitioned for a search warrant in Marion Superior Court to conduct an administrative inspection of the facility. That warrant was amended and narrowed to only include the search of documents, records and areas associated with the use of certain substances. The trial court denied Sensient’s request to stay the execution of the search warrant.

IOSHA informed the trial court in February 2012 that the warrant had been fully executed and later filed a motion to dismiss Sensient’s appeal, arguing the matter was moot.

The judges focused not on the mootness argument but on the fact that Sensient had not exhausted its administrative remedies before taking action in court. The appellate court cited In re Establishment Inspection of Kohler Co., 935 F.2d 810 (7th Cir. 1991), a similar case out of Wisconsin, to find it is without jurisdiction to consider Sensient’s challenge to the warrant.

Judge Nancy Vaidik pointed out that Indiana’s Supreme Court has also emphasized the value of completing administrative proceedings before resorting to judicial review.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.