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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues two today

Brownsburg Community School Corporation v. Natare Corporation (3/17/05 IndSCt) [Antitrust]
Boehm, Justice

We hold that the Indiana Antitrust Act does not create a civil treble damage remedy against an arm of government. * * *

In March 2003 Natare sued the School Corporation, Schmidt, and Spear, alleging that the three had conspired to exclude Natare from consideration as a supplier for the pool and bulkhead in violation of the provision of the Indiana Antitrust Act prohibiting combinations in restraint of trade, Indiana Code section 24-1-2-3 (2004). Natare alleged that the wording of the specifications unreasonably limited competition by requiring bidding contractors to use Myrtha Pool materials and equipment supplied by Spear, and that Spear had a significant role in determining whether other products were “equal.” Pursuant to Indiana Code section 24-1-2-7, the complaint sought treble damages, costs, and attorney fees for violations of the Indiana Antitrust Act. * * *

Because Natare has no claim for damages under the Public Purchasing Statute, it seeks to bring its claim under the Indiana Antitrust Act. Ind. Code § 24-1-2-1—12 (2004). The principal issue is whether a governmental entity is subject to the private treble damages remedy provided for violation of the antitrust act. * * *

For the reasons already given, we do not read our statute to provide liability of governmental agencies. In this conclusion we join Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma and New York in rejecting the federal state action immunity doctrine under state antitrust law. * * *

The order of the trial court denying the motion of Brownsburg Community School Corporation for judgment on the pleadings is reversed. This case is remanded with direction to grant the School Corporation’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.
Shepard, C.J., and Dickson, Sullivan, and Rucker, JJ. concur.

Joshua Sandlin v. State of Indiana (3/17/05 IndSCt) [Criminal Law & Procedure]
Sullivan, Justice
Defendant Joshua Sandlin pled guilty to robbery. In March, 1999, the trial court sentenced him to ten years in prison, four years of which were suspended during which Defendant was placed on probation. Defendant’s probation began in February, 2001. While on probation, Defendant committed five counts of burglary and theft for which he was convicted.

The State asked the original trial court to revoke Defendant’s probation on grounds of the burglary and theft convictions. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve the entire four years of the original sentence that had previously been suspended. * * *

Although Defendant never explicitly says so, we infer from his argument that he contends that the trial court in this case believed that it was required to impose the entire amount of the sentence originally suspended. If that had been the case, it might well be appropriate to remand this case to the trial court for reconsideration in light of our holding in Stephens.

We have reviewed the transcript of the probation revocation hearing and find nothing in it indicating that the trial court believed it was required to impose the entire amount of the sentence originally suspended. Absent a fairly explicit statement to the contrary, we presume a trial court is aware of its authority to order executed time following revocation of probation that is less than the length of the sentence originally imposed. We grant transfer and summarily affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals. Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A)(2).

Shepard, C.J., and Dickson, Boehm, and Rucker, JJ., concur.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 17, 2005 02:36 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions