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High court clarifies preliminary injunction issue

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The Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion today explaining its reasoning for granting a permanent writ of mandamus last year against Clark Circuit Court. The justices also clarified the procedure that may be used to withdraw a case from a court that fails to rule promptly after hearing a motion related to a preliminary injunction.

In August 2009, Crain Heating Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. filed a complaint in Clark Circuit Court seeking damages and injunctive relief against Elite Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. and its officers and employees. The company also filed for a preliminary injunction against Elite to prevent it from misappropriating Crain's confidential business information.

Clark Circuit Judge Daniel Moore was assigned to the complaint. Elite filed for a change of judge, which was granted. Judge Moore still presided over Crain's preliminary injunction hearing Aug. 20, which was scheduled prior to the request for change of judge. The parties were given until Sept. 14 to submit proposed findings of fact. Elite move for and was granted a 10-day extension to file. On Sept. 21, Crain filed a praecipe alleging the court failed to timely rule on the preliminary injunction motion and asked the clerk pursuant to Indiana Trial Rules 53.1 and 65(A)(3) to review the matter and determine more than 30 days had passed without a ruling since the conclusion of the hearing on the preliminary injunction.

Eight days later, the clerk determined a ruling on the preliminary injunction request hadn't been delayed. Judge Moore then denied the preliminary injunction. Crain filed the original action for permanent writ of mandamus, which the Supreme Court granted Dec. 7.That writ ordered the clerk to withdraw the case from the trial court and transmit it to the Supreme Court for appointment of a special judge and for Judge Moore to vacate his Oct. 2 order denying the preliminary injunction.

In today's action, State of Indiana ex. rel. Crain Heating Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. v. The Clark Circuit Court, et al., No. 10S00-0910-OR-500, the justices noted the papers filed aren't clear as to whether Crain sought relief because the Circuit Court failed to rule within 10 days after the preliminary injunction hearing, per T.R. 65(A)(3), or within 30 days after the hearing, per T.R. 53.1, or both. There's been no precedent discussing the interplay between the two trial rules - T.R. 65(A)(3) refers to the 10-day deadline but also refers to T.R.53.1's 30-day time frame for ruling on motions in general.

"These rules should be interpreted in conjunction with each other to mean that unless an order is entered within ten days after the hearing upon the granting, modifying, or dissolving of a temporary or preliminary injunction, there has been a delay in ruling and an interested party may immediately praecipe for withdrawal under the procedure provided in Trial Rule 53.1(E)," the per curium order stated.

If the ruling involves the granting, modifying, or dissolving of a temporary or preliminary injunction and it hasn't been entered within 10 days, it's not necessary for a party to wait for the 30-day period under T.R. 53.1. A clerk should determine the question of delay with reference to the 10-day period.

Because a ruling wasn't issued within 10 days of the Aug. 20 hearing and Crain then filed its praecipe, it's entitled to have the case withdrawn from the court.

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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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