Sexual misconduct case gets transfer

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday in a case involving the liability of a township trustee for sexual misconduct of her employee.

In Debra A. Barnett v. Camille Clark, Trustee of Pleasant Township, No. 76A03-0704-CV-182, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Camille Clark, who is also referred to as Camelia in the brief.

Clark's husband, Donald, was the deputy township trustee. Debra Barnett went to the trustee's office and met with Donald to obtain financial assistance. At their second meeting, Barnett signed a contract to work for the trustee's office, as Donald told her that was the only way she could receive financial assistance. At that meeting, he touched her inappropriately and asked her to come back to finish the paperwork. A few days later, Barnett came to Donald's office, where he blocked the door, turned off the lights and forced Barnett to have sex with him. After she left, she called the police.

The Indiana State Police arrested Donald after he came to Barnett's house and tried to kiss her and unzipped his pants. He pleaded guilty to sexual battery and an unrelated battery.

Barnett filed suit against Camille Clark, alleging she is vicariously liable for Donald's actions. The trial court granted summary judgment for Camille, finding Donald's conduct wasn't similar to his authorized duties to be within the scope of his employment.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision, ruling Donald used his official duties to create an opportunity to be alone with Barnett and he performed his duties before and after his misconduct. Summary judgment shouldn't have been granted because whether he was acting in the scope of his employment is an issue of fact, ruled the Court of Appeals.

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  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon