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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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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