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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues one today, re rule interpretation

In R&D Transport v. A.H., an 11-page, 3-2 decision, Justice Sullivan writes:

Our Trial Rule 75(A) gives preference to certain counties as the place for a lawsuit to proceed. In this case, the trial court and the Court of Appeals held that because some personal property (orthotic devices and clothing) belonging to a victim of a motor vehicle accident had been damaged, the victim’s home county (the place where the personal property was regularly kept) enjoyed this preferential status. This was an incorrect interpretation of the trial rule and we accordingly reverse the decision of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. * * *

For the reasons discussed supra, Porter County is not a county of preferred venue and the trial court erred in not granting defendant’s motion to transfer the case to a county of preferred venue. We reverse the decision of the trial court.

Shepard, C.J., and Boehm, J., concur.
Dickson, J., dissents with separate opinion in which Rucker, J., concurs. [the dissent begins on p. 9 with:]

With today's decision, the majority reinterprets the clear language of this Court's rule in a manner contrary to thirty years of appellate precedent and established custom and practice of Indiana judges and lawyers. Such a major shift of policy, if warranted, should be undertaken by the rule amendment process, not by a judicial opinion in a single case.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 28, 2006 03:59 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions