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COA affirms on rehearing its ruling against Bloomington dry cleaner

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The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected on rehearing a Bloomington dry cleaner’s request that it reconsider its August ruling that went against him.

An appellate panel granted rehearing in James T. Mitchell v. 10th And The Bypass, LLC, and Elway, Inc., 53A01-1112-PL-593, in which the COA affirmed a Monroe Circuit ruling that vacated partial summary judgment in favor of Mitchell. On Tuesday, the COA issued an opinion affirming its ruling.

“We grant Mitchell’s petition to address his contention that our opinion misunderstands and mischaracterizes his argument. We think not,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel. “After careful consideration, we conclude that on rehearing Mitchell attempts to adjust and supplement his original argument, which he cannot do.”

Mitchell had been sued in an action that claimed environmental damage resulting from a dry cleaning business in which he was involved.

In January 2010, the trial court granted Mitchell’s request for partial summary judgment. The LLC later asked the court to vacate that motion after presenting evidence from a former employee who testified to chemical spills, and the court vacated its earlier order.

Mitchell contended the appellate panel allowed the abuse of discretion standard of review to dictate the outcome and to create “bad law,” and he challenged the COA’s reliance on the plain meaning of Indiana Trial Rule 54(B) regarding judgment upon multiple claims involving multiple parties.

“And Mitchell chides us for not adopting federal practice on how a trial court should handle new evidence when reconsidering a partial summary judgment under federal Rule 54(B),” Najam wrote. The court rejected those and other arguments on rehearing.

“In sum, we understood and decided this appeal based on the facts and argument originally presented by the parties. Our opinion applying Trial Rule 54(B) recognizes the inherent distinction between an interlocutory order and a final judgment and underscores that a party who wants to avoid the risk that an interlocutory order will be revised ‘at any time’ under Rule 54(B) should ask the court to enter the order as a final judgment,” Najam wrote.

“Without reweighing the evidence, we are satisfied that the factors the trial court identified in its decision to set aside the previous interlocutory order are more than sufficient to demonstrate that the court did not abuse its discretion. As such, we affirm our opinion.”


 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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