On second thought, Carroll Circuit judge erases rant from original order

The Carroll County judge who claimed insurance companies have broken Indiana’s civil litigation system and begged the parties to appeal his ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court has scrubbed his original order of all but two paragraphs that state summary judgment is granted in favor of the defendants.

Carroll Circuit Judge Benjamin Diener issued his original order April 5 in the personal injury case of Penny Chappey, Gregory Chappey v. Joseph Paul Storey, Complete Auto & Tire LLC, 08C01-1904-CT-2. He quickly disposed of the case, finding no genuine issue of material fact but using most of the ruling to vent his frustration at what he sees as the insurance industry becoming the “near-lone participant in the civil system of conflict resolution.”

However, the docket entry for April 5 now links to a revised order that is mostly blank pages.

An amended order was entered May 12. It reiterates that summary judgment was entered for Storey and Complete Auto, and notes that the Chappeys have filed a notice of appeal while pointing out the parties still have time to file a mandatory motion to correct error.

The order also includes instructions to strike “all dicta” from the original summary judgment ruling.

“The Court, SUA SPONTE, and as permitted by Ind. Trial Rule 52(B) AMENDS its order Granting Summary Judgment as contained herein,” the amended order states. “Further, the Court, SUA SPONTE, and as permitted by T.R. 12(F) now Moves to Strike all dicta from the Court’s summary judgment order. The Court GRANTS said Motion and ORDERS all dicta stricken from the Court’s summary judgment order.”

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