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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issued 3 yesterday, Dec. 26th (and 9 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

Lisa A. Birkhimer v. Neil S. Birkhimer

Christopher White v. State of Indiana (NFP)

In Leslee Orndorff v. Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, R. Scott Waddell, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles , a 22-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:

Leslee Orndorff committed three driving offenses that qualified her as a habitual traffic violator (“HTV”) in 2004. In 2008, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”) issued Orndorff a driver’s license. In 2012, the BMV notified Orndorff that her driving privileges were to be suspended for ten years based on her HTV status. Orndorff filed a complaint against the BMV alleging that the equitable doctrine of laches prevented the BMV from suspending her driving privileges and requesting a preliminary injunction to stop the suspension. The trial court denied her request for a preliminary injunction, concluding that Orndorff did not have a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on the merits of her laches defense at trial because it was unlikely that laches would apply to the government and the BMV’s delay was understandable.

Orndorff appeals the trial court’s ruling, arguing that laches applies to the government because the suspension of her driving privileges now, eight years after she qualified as an HTV and four years after she obtained a valid driver’s license, will cause her to lose her job, which requires her to drive, and thrust her family into poverty, thereby threatening the public interest. She also contends that the BMV’s delay is inexcusable. We conclude that under the facts of this case, there is a reasonable likelihood that Orndorff will succeed in establishing that suspending her driving privileges will threaten the public interest such that laches applies to the government. We also conclude that she has a reasonable likelihood of showing that the BMV’s delay is inexcusable. Therefore, we conclude that Orndorff has a reasonable likelihood of succeeding on the merits of her laches defense. We also conclude that Orndorff has carried her burden to establish the other requirements for a preliminary injunction, and thus we reverse the trial court’s denial of her request for a preliminary injunction and remand for further proceedings.

NFP civil opinions today (3):

In Re the Paternity of C.C.M.: M.M. v. V.K.H. (NFP)

In Re the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.R.: D.R. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

Karl Kapanke, Universal Am-Can, Ltd., and M.C. Schmitt Trucking, Inc. v. James Stovall and Tracy Stovall (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (6):

Sharif Fields v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Billy Adams v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Robert D. Ratcliff v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Allen Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jonathon P. Grigsby v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jeffrey Adams v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 27, 2012 12:00 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions