Court splits over release of college transcript

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A divided panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed Ball State University’s appeal of the order that it release the transcript of a student who left the school and owes tuition. The student’s mother added the university to her petition seeking to require her ex-husband to contribute to their child’s college expenses.

Jennifer Irons filed the petition for modification in May 2011, seeking in part an order that Scott Irons contribute to daughter Jordan Iron’s college expenses at Ball State. She attended the school in the fall of 2011 but withdrew in early 2012, leaving an unpaid tuition balance. Jordan is unable to enroll at another college because Ball State will not release her transcript until the tuition is paid.

Jennifer Irons added the school to the complaint because the trial court was unable to fully adjudicate the issues, as future college expenses couldn’t be completely determined until Jordan enrolled at Indiana University Northwest.

Ball State sought to dismiss with prejudice the claim against it, arguing Jordan had no right to her transcript unless she paid the balance on her tuition. The trial court, noting this is an issue of first impression, ordered the university to release the transcript. Lake Circuit Judge George C. Paras also wrote in the order that the Legislature hasn’t created a statutory lien that would allow the university to withhold a transcript for failure to pay tuition.

Ball State appealed, but Jennifer Irons claimed that the order was interlocutory and the university had to have the order certified. Ball State claimed it properly filed the appeal under Ind. App. Rule 14(A).

“We conclude that the order does not fall under Appellate Rule 14(A)(3). The delivery of Jordan’s official transcript does not ‘import a surrender’ as contemplated by the rule. Whether the delivery disposes of all claims and relief sought against BSU does not determine whether a surrender has occurred,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the majority, which includes Judge Robb. “Giving Jennifer a copy of Jordan’s official transcript does not remove the official transcript from BSU’s control.”

“Although BSU did not have a right to appeal the trial court’s order compelling the delivery of the transcript under Appellate Rule 14(A)(3), it could have asked the trial court to certify the order for an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Appellate Rule 14(B). Because BSU failed to have the order properly certified, we must dismiss this appeal,” he wrote in Ball State University v. Jennifer Irons, In re the Marriage of: Jennifer Irons, Wife, and Scott Irons, Husband, 45A03-1307-DR-296.

Judge Elaine Brown dissented on this issue, believing that the order does constitute an interlocutory appeal of right – either under Rule 14(A)(3) or Appellate Rule 14(A)(8).

“BSU is not simply appealing a discovery order which requires parties to a lawsuit to produce documents which could be used as evidence at trial. The appealed order is a dispositive order as to BSU as it serves to dispose of all claims and relief sought against BSU,” she wrote.

The judges all agreed that Jennifer Irons should be denied appellate attorney fees.


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.