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Monday, November 21, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 today (and 4 NFP)

For publication opinions today (4):

In Jim Norris v. Personal Finance, a 12-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:

Personal Finance gave Jim Norris a loan. Norris failed to make payments on the loan, and Personal Finance filed a notice of claim against Norris in small claims court. A copy of the notice of claim was delivered by the sheriff to Norris's parents' address, and another copy was sent to that address by first-class mail. Norris failed to appear at the hearing on Personal Finance's claim, and the trial court entered default judgment against him. Norris filed a motion for relief from judgment, arguing that service of process was inadequate, the trial court lacked jurisdiction over him, and the default judgment was void. Following a hearing on Norris's motion, the trial court found that service to Norris's parents' address was adequate because Norris's parents had a duty under Indiana Trial Rule 4.16 to inform the court that Norris did not live with them. The trial court denied Norris's motion for relief from judgment.

Norris appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in applying Trial Rule 4.16 in this situation. We agree, and therefore reverse the trial court's decision denying Norris relief. * * *

Parents of competent adults are not included in the list of persons having authority to accept service under our trial rules. Further, Personal Finance did not introduce any evidence to show that Norris's parents were acting as his agents. In fact, Percy testified to the contrary. Tr. at 36. Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court erred in concluding that Trial Rule 4.16 applied to Norris's parents. Service by delivery to Norris's parents' address was not in compliance with Trial Rule 4.1 and thus was ineffective. * * *

We reiterate that because Personal Finance did not file an appellee's brief, Norris is required to present only a prima facie case that the trial court erred in denying his motion for relief from judgment.5 Given the standard of review in this case, we conclude that Norris has met his burden to show that the trial court erred in denying his motion for relief from judgment. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's judgment.

In Janice L. Davis v. Shelter Insurance Companies, State Farm Insurance Companies, and Jennifer L. Culver, a 14-page opinion, Judge Vaidik writes:
Janice Davis appeals the trial court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Jennifer Culver and State Farm Insurance Company. Davis contends that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether State Farm's communications with her following a car accident and while she was receiving treatment were sufficient to trigger the theory of equitable estoppel and prevent State Farm from using a statute of limitations defense against Davis's claim. Finding no genuine issue of material fact, we affirm.
Adron Herschel Tancil v. State of Indiana - "The foregoing evidence, if believed, was more than sufficient to support the jury's determination that Tancil intended to kill Johnson and engaged in conduct that constituted a substantial step toward doing so. As such, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Tancil's motion for a new trial on the attempted murder charge. Therefore, we affirm."

Myron L. Johnson v. State of Indiana - "The alleged failure of Michigan and Indiana authorities to strictly comply with the Interstate Compact, particularly with respect to the conducting of a preliminary probable cause hearing in Michigan, did not deprive the trial court of either subject matter jurisdiction over Johnson's probation revocation or personal jurisdiction over him. Additionally, Johnson waived strict compliance with the Interstate Compact when he agreed as one of the terms of his probation to waive formal extradition proceedings. We affirm the revocation of Johnson's probation."

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Leland K. Roberts v. Hart & Sons Realty, LLC (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (3):

George B. Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dewayne L. Campbell v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Bruce King v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 21, 2011 11:10 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions