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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ind. Courts - Two opinions today from the Supreme Court, both 5-0

In both the following opinions, while the Court of Appeals had reversed the trial court, the Supreme Court affirms the decision of the trial court. Both opinions are 5-0, including the vote of new Justice Rush.

In D.C. v. J.A.C., an 8-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice David writes:

In this case, a mother sought to relocate out-of-state with her child. The father filed a motion to modify custody and prevent the child’s relocation. After an evidentiary hearing, which was conducted over two days with ten witnesses testifying, the trial court ruled in the father’s favor. The Court of Appeals reversed.

Today, we reiterate that in family law matters, trial courts are afforded considerable deference. Here, the trial court’s judgment was well supported by the findings, and neither the judgment nor the findings were clearly erroneous. * * *

Trial courts are afforded a great deal of deference in family law matters, including relocation and custody disputes. The trial court, in this case, made sufficient and supportable findings to sustain its decision to prevent relocation and modify custody. Applying the highly deferential standard of review, we affirm the trial court.

In John Haegert v. University of Evansville, an employment law case resulting in a rare, 40-page opinion, Justice David writes:

An encounter between a tenured professor at a private university and his department head turned into a formal complaint of harassment against the professor. After extensive internal proceedings, the professor’s tenure was rescinded and he was dismissed from the university’s faculty. He filed suit claiming breach of his employment contract and tenure agreement, and the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the university. We affirm.

Here is the March 30, 2012 COA in D.C. v. J.A.C. Here is the 2-1, Sept. 11, 2011 COA opinion in Haegert v. Univ. of Evansville.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 13, 2012 10:31 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions