The Indiana Supreme Court granted two transfers this week.
Justices will consider an Indiana State University case involving unemployment benefits for a discharged university professor, and another case delving into the attorney general’s power to demand discovery in consumer complaint investigations.
One transfer comes in the combined appeals of Liberty Publishing Inc. and Nu-Sash of Indianapolis v. Steve Carter, No. 49A02-0606-CV-502, which the state’s appellate court ruled on June 25. The appeals court affirmed Marion Superior Court judgments that the attorney general has the ability to file a petition to enforce the Civil Investigation Demand against both businesses under the Indiana Deceptive Consumer’s Sales Act and the Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act.
Both instances stemmed from deceptive consumer practice complaints against Liberty operating as Booster Club Productions and Nu-Sash operating as McKee Sunroom Designs. The attorney general’s office was investigating Liberty because of complaints about the business selling advertising space on calendars with local high school athletic schedules and claiming some proceeds would go to the schools or fundraising events. The Nu-Sash investigation involved complaints about the business failing to supply customers with applicable statutory terms. The businesses contended that the state didn’t have the power to compel this information.
On the second transfer, justices agreed to take Indiana State University v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and William A. Lafief, No. 93A02-0611-EX-1012. In June, the Court of Appeals reversed a decision that Lafief was entitled to unemployment benefits because the review board erroneously concluded he’d been discharged from his professor position. That decision considered the definition of “discharged” in the context of a non-tenured university professor whose one-year probationary contract was not renewed.