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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. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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