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Opinions March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012
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The Indiana Supreme Court issued the following opinion after IL deadline on Wednesday:
Loparex, LLC v. MPI Release Technologies, LLC, Gerald Kerber, and Stephen Odders
94S00-1109-CQ-546
Certified question. Answers three questions certified from U.S. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in the Southern District of Indiana. Holds that Wabash Railroad Co. v. Young, 162 Ind. 102, 69 N.E. 1003 (1904), is no longer good law because it precludes individuals who’ve voluntarily left employment from pursuing a claim under Indiana’s Blacklisting Statute. The justices also held that attorney fees are not an element of compensatory damages under the Blacklisting Statute and that an employer’s suit against a former employee to protect trade secrets is not a basis for recovery under the statute.

Thursday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.


Indiana Supreme Court
Sheila Perdue, et al. v. Michael A. Gargano, et al.
49S02-1107-PL-437
Civil plenary. Reverses in part Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer’s ruling on challenge to Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s automated system of processing claims for Medicaid, food stamps, and temporary assistance. Holds that the FSSA’s denial notices are insufficiently explanatory but that the agency may deny an application when that person fails to cooperate in the eligibility determination process. Affirms in part the trial court’s grant of Sheila Perdue’s summary judgment motion on the grounds that she’s entitled to reasonable accommodations in applying for benefits but that does not necessarily require a caseworker or case management services.

Hunt Construction Group, Inc., and Mezzetta Construction, Inc. v. Shannon D. Garrett
49S02-1106-CT-365
Civil tort. Reverses decision by Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed in case involving the employee of a concrete subcontractor injured in the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium. Finds construction manager did not have a legal duty by contract terms or action, and holds that construction manager cannot be held liable for workplace negligence. Justice Brent Dickson dissents, believing that material issues of fact exist about the construction manager’s duty of care and summary judgment is precluded for both parties.

State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co. v. Flexdar, Inc. and RTS Realty
49S02-1104-PL-199
Civil plenary. Affirms Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele’s judgment in favor of Flexdar, holding that the language of a pollution exclusion in a general commercial liability policy is ambiguous and should be construed against State Automobile Insurance Co. and in favor of coverage. Justice Steven David concurs in result, and Justice Frank Sullivan and Chief Justice Randall Shepard dissent in a separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
New Albany Historic Preservation Commission and City of New Albany v. Bradford Realty, Inc.
22A01-1108-PL-365
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part ruling by Special Judge Daniel Moore, finding that Bradford Realty was not entitled to actual notice of potential historic district designation and was required to obtain a certificate when it replaced the property’s original siding. Appellate judges reverse trial court’s grant of summary judgment for Bradford Realty and grant summary judgment to the historic preservation commission. Affirm the judge’s denial of summary judgment for Bradford Realty on inverse condemnation claim. Judge Ezra Friedlander dissents in separate opinion.

Lawane Chaney on Behalf of Himself and All Others Similarly Situated v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc.
49A05-0905-CV-263
Civil. Court issues rehearing on an order on a motion for appellate fees and costs, affirming its original holding but finding that it made two errors – that the record does not support the finding that Ron Weldy informed the trial court of the stay in his motion to compel, and that the record does not support the court’s prior statement that Weldy persisted on the theory that Clarian Health had agreed to provide discovery after the trial court vacated its motion to compel. The court found those errors are insignificant and do not change the outcome of the original order. The judges also denied Clarian’s request for additional fees and costs incurred in responding to the rehearing petition.

Donald L. Webb, III v. Sheriff Kenneth A. Murphy and Town of Brookville, Indiana; Terry Mitchum (NFP)
24A04-1104-CT-197
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s ruling in favor of Franklin County Sheriff and Town of Brookville on claims of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, finding the fundamental error doctrine does not apply and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in exempting the defendants’ expert from a separation of witnesses order.

In Re: The Marriage of Lisa Mae Slayback Gillispie v. Danny Lee Gillispie (NFP)
15A01-1108-DR-364
Divorce. Affirms trial court’s division of martial property.

The Marriage of: Donald J. Shaughnessy, Jr. v. Lyn A. Shaughnessy (NFP)
06A01-1107-DR-347
Divorce. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny an order for equal division of a marital estate.

Demitrus L. Grant v. The Bank of New York (NFP)
49A02-1104-MF-485
Mortgage foreclosure. Dismisses Demitrus Grant’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction, finding that the trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss the complaint against Grant is not a final appealable order and Grant didn’t ask the trial court to certify the issue for interlocutory appeal.

Kenny Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1107-CR-611
Criminal. Affirms Class A felony rape and Class D felony auto theft convictions and aggregate 40-year sentence.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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