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Justices take case against Duke Energy, deny transfer to lesbians’ custody case

March 6, 2017

The Indiana Supreme Court will decide if a complaint against Duke Energy will be allowed to continue after granting transfer to the class-action suit last week. It also declined to take a parenting time and custody battle between two women over their child born by artificial insemination.

In its only grant of transfer for the week ending March 3, the high court agreed to hear the case of Bellwether Properties, LLC v. Duke Energy of Indiana, LLC, 53S04-1703-CT-121, in which Bellwether Properties sued Duke for prohibiting it from expanding a structure on its property. Duke had previously obtained an easement on the property to install overhead electric lines and argued that the 2002 National Electrical Safety Code prohibited Bellwether’s expansion unless it allowed for a 23-foot horizontal strike clearance.

The Monroe Circuit Court granted Duke’s motion to dismiss on the basis that Bellwether’s claim was barred by a six-year statute of limitations. The Court of Appeals, however, reversed that decision in September, holding that because Bellwether was not put on notice of the requirement for the 23-foot clearance, the statute of limitations was tolled until Duke informed Bellwether of the requirements change.

The Supreme Court denied transfer to 24 other cases last week, with all justices concurring in each case. Among those cases was In re the Marriage of: Kristy Gardenour v. Denise Bondelie, 32A01-1601-DR-82. Kristy Gardenour and Denise Bondelie entered into a registered domestic partnership in California in 2006, later moved to Indiana and had a son together after Gardenour was artificially inseminated.

But the relationship ended and Bondelie, who had moved to California to care for an ailing parent, sought joint legal custody and visitation, which the trial court granted. The Court of Appeals affirmed in August, holding Bondelie is the boy’s legal parent.

The full list of transfer actions can be read here.
 

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