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Court rules for Indianapolis Housing Agency in suit brought by ex-employee

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Indianapolis Housing Agency, finding the agency had a qualified privilege to report an employee’s suspected criminal conduct while on the job.

Ex-employee Kelvin Brown sued IHA for malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress after he was fired from work and charged with ghost employment, official misconduct and deception.

The IHA suspected based on witness accounts and the GPS system installed in his employer-provided car that Brown was dealing with matters involving rental properties he owned during work hours. Brown was a Section 8 housing inspector for IHA; his homes were not Section 8 properties.

During work hours, Brown appeared in small claims court for a case related to one of his properties and did not properly request time off to attend court. The GPS also showed his car located at one of his properties during work when there was no reason for it to be. The cars were only used during work hours.

The prosecutor eventually dropped the charges due to evidentiary issues.

The Court of Appeals judges agreed with the lower court that the IHA had a qualified privilege to make a criminal complaint against Brown. This privilege has been applied to claims of defamation, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The judges extended the privilege to malicious prosecution.

They found the designated evidence in the case didn’t raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the privilege was abused. The evidence didn’t establish that IHA’s conduct rose to the level of extreme or outrageous, the judges ruled.


 

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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

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  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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