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Friday, August 14, 2009

Ind. Decisions - Two Indiana opinions today from the 7th Circuit

In Bentz v. City of Kendallvile (ND Ind., Judge Lee), a 15-page opinion, Judge Kanne writes:

On May 3, 2006, officers of the Kendallville Police Department entered the home of Dr. Bernard Leonelli without a warrant, arrested him, and searched his home for potential domestic violence victims. Leonelli brought suit against the City of Kendallville and individual police officers alleging various Indiana tort claims and violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants. While this appeal was pending, Leonelli passed away from causes unrelated to the lawsuit, and Susan Bentz became his personal representative. The city moved to dismiss the appeal, claiming that none of Leonelli’s claims survived his death. Bentz, meanwhile, moved that we certify the question of survival to the Indiana Supreme Court. Because we find that Indiana law establishes that Leonelli’s claims do not survive, we grant the city’s motion to dismiss the appeal and deny Bentz’s motion to certify questions of state law. * * *

Nothing in our opinion requires that we resolve a question of state law on which there is no clear controlling Indiana precedent. For that reason, Bentz’s motion to certify questions of law to the Indiana Supreme Court is DENIED.

Leonelli’s federal claim for unreasonable seizure would be treated under Indiana law as a false imprisonment claim; his unlawful entry Fourth Amendment claim isanalogous to the Indiana tort of invasion of privacy. Because neither tort survives under Indiana law, the appellees’ motion to dismiss the appeal is GRANTED.

Daugherty v. Wabash Center, Inc. (ND Ind., Judge Sharp), is a 10-page Per Curiam opinion:
Michael Daugherty sued Wabash Center, Inc., and its president, Jeffrey Darling, claiming that he was fired in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2654. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and Daugherty appeals. Because Daugherty did not show that there was a genuine issue of material fact concerning Wabash’s reason for firing him, we affirm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 14, 2009 01:27 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions