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Highway supervisor’s termination not subject to judicial review

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Because the decision by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to not reappoint its county highway supervisor was a ministerial decision, the Indiana Supreme Court held it was not subject to judicial review.

Howard Price sough judicial review of the board’s decision to terminate his employment in February 2011. He served as Fayette County highway supervisor from 1991 to 2002 and again in 2006 until he was terminated. A motion by one commissioner to renew his appointment for the standard 12-month period died for lack of a second. Another commissioner made the motion to appoint a different person as interim supervisor while beginning the search for a new supervisor. That was approved on a 2-1 vote.

The trial court denied summary judgment in the matter, concluding the board’s decision to terminate Price’s continued employment was “quasi-judicial in nature” and thus subject to judicial review.

In Fayette County Board of Commissioners v. Howard Price, 21S04-1308-PL-530, the justices relied on the four-factor test for determining whether an administrative action is judicial in nature as outlined in Lincoln v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Tippecanoe Cnty, 510 N.E.2d 716 (Ind. Ct. App. 1987), in their decision to reverse the trial court. Genuine issue of material fact exists with respect to the first two Lincoln factors: the presence of the parties upon notice and the ascertainment of facts.

“We find as a matter of law, however, that the ‘nature, quality, and purpose’ of the Board’s actions in deciding who should be the County Highway Supervisor was not ‘equivalent to a court’s adjudication of issues between opposing parties.’ The ‘nature, quality, and purpose’ of the Board’s action was not a ‘determination of issues’ nor a ‘rendition of a judgment or final order regarding the parties’ rights, duties, or liabilities,’” Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote, referencing Lincoln. “In the absence of these two critical factors, we find as a matter of law that the Board’s employment decision regarding Price was administrative and ministerial, not quasi-judicial. It is thus not subject to judicial review.”
 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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