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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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