Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues two today
In The Indiana Department of Environmental Management v. Raybestos Products Co., an 11-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Boehm writes:
We hold that an agreed order for environmental cleanup with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”) is an agency action governed by the Indiana Administra- tive Orders and Procedures Act, not a contract that will support a claim for damages from IDEM. We also hold that IDEM has authority to approve risk-based cleanups, and IDEM’s communications with the federal Environmental Protection Agency did not violate its Agreed Order with Raybestos. * * *In John C. Roberts, M.D. v. Community Hospitals of Indiana, Inc. , a 14-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Boehm writes:
Because the Agreed Order does not support a claim for damages and was not violated by IDEM’s actions, the trial court’s orders denying IDEM’s motions to dismiss and for summary judgment are reversed. This case is remanded with instructions to vacate the judgments in favor of Raybestos and dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Indiana Trial Rule 65(A)(2) allows a trial court to advance and consolidate a trial on the merits with a preliminary injunction hearing. The rule explicitly authorizes this action either “[b]efore or after the commencement of the hearing.” A trial court must ordinarily provide no- tice to the parties when it intends to exercise this authority. Consolidation without notice is not reversible error, however, absent a showing of prejudice, which requires identification of evi- dence that was not adduced at the hearing and might reasonably affect the outcome. Identifica- tion of steps the party might have taken in hopes of producing unspecified new evidence is insuf- ficient where the parties have been afforded reasonable opportunity to develop the facts through discovery or access to relevant witnesses and documents. * * *
The trial court’s consolidation pursuant to Trial Rule 65(A)(2) and entry of final judgment are affirmed.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 9, 2008 03:35 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions