A petition to transfer in a dispute over the removal of highway billboards split the Indiana Supreme Court but did not gain enough votes to be heard by the justices.
The case, Indiana Department of Transportation v. FMG Indianapolis, LLC, Stephen Roudebush, and Jeffory Roudebush, 20A-PL-215, arose when the state revoked the permits for a pair of billboards that had stood for decades along State Road 32 in Hamilton County. An administrative law judge and the Hamilton Superior Court sided with the billboard owners on what was called a “fundamental fairness doctrine,” but the Court of Appeals of Indiana reversed, holding the Indiana Department of Transportation had the authority to pull the permits because the structures were a public nuisance under Indiana Code § 8-23-20-26(a) (1993).
Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Justice Christopher Goff voted to grant the billboard owners’ petition to transfer but were outvoted.
The Supreme Court did grant transfer to three petitions, including County Materials Corp. and Central Processing Corp v. Indiana Precast, Inc., Ryan S. Gookins, and Richard A. Rectenwal, III 21S-PL-565. There, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Hancock Superior Court’s ruling in favor of Ryan Gookins and Richard Rectenwal, who had been accused of breaching confidentiality agreements with their former employer.
In a separate order, the justices vacated the COA’s opinion and remanded to the lower appellate court for reconsideration.
According to the high court, the COA found that Gookins, Rectenwal and Indiana Precast Inc. filed their notice of appeal on Sept. 15, 2020, 31 days after the denial of their motion to correct error. But the parties agreed, and the Supreme Court found, that the notice of appeal was actually filed on Sept. 14, 2020.
The other two cases granted transfer include:
- State of Indiana v. Anthony J. Neukam, 21S-CR-567. There, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion to amend charging information in Anthony Neukam’s adult criminal case after he was alleged to have committed numerous acts of child molesting before he was a legal adult.
- Elizabeth Roetter v. Michael P. Roetter, Jr., 21S-DC-568. The Court of Appeals affirmed the award to Elizabeth Roetter of 18 months maintenance but reversed the distribution of assets and debts in a divorce case.
Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled in either case.
Petitions for transfer were denied in 10 other cases. The complete list can be found online.