Monday, March 18, 2013
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of (3/18/13):
- None currently scheduled.
Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 3/25/13):
Thursday, March 28th
- 9:00 AM - Veolia Water Indianapolis, LLC, et al. v. National Trust Insurance Company (49S04-1301-PL-8) - The insurance companies filed a complaint against Veolia Water Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis (collectively "Defendants"), alleging frozen fire hydrants caused a delay in putting out the fire at a restaurant. Defendants claimed immunity, but the Marion Superior Court denied, in part, Defendants' motions to dismiss and for judgment on the pleadings. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding both the City and Veolia were immune from liability under the common law. Veolia Water Indianapolis, LLC v. Nat'l Trust Ins. Co., 973 N.E.2d 3 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), vacated. The Court of Appeals also concluded the insurance companies were not third-party beneficiaries to the contract between Veolia and the City. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a August 3, 2012 COA opinion: "We conclude that both the City and Veolia are entitled to common law immunity, because the common law rule turns on the purpose for which the water is being used, not the underlying cause of the lack of water. We further conclude that the explicit language of the City's contract with Veolia disavows any intent to create third-party beneficiaries. Therefore, we reverse."
- 9:45 AM - Dante Adams v. State of Indiana (15A01-1110-MI-537) - The State filed a motion to transfer cash seized from Dante Adams to federal authorities for the purpose of commencing forfeiture proceedings. The State did not serve the motion on Adams. The Dearborn Circuit Court granted the State's motion and denied Adams' motion for rehearing. The Court of Appeals concluded that because the statute permitting the State to transfer seized property to federal authorities contemplates a lawful search, Adams was entitled to challenge the legality of the search and seizure prior to transfer of the cash to federal authorities. The State therefore erred in failing to give Adams notice of its motion. The error, however, was harmless because Adams could not show prejudice. Adams v. State, 967 N.E.2d 568 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012). Adams has petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This is a May 21, 2012 COA opinion:
Here, there is no serious question that the facts underlying the search of Adams’ car and the seizure of his cash were supported by probable cause and were, therefore, lawful. Indeed, this otherwise centerpiece argument seems so indisputable that Adams’ attorneys instead focus their appellate arguments on the fact that “Indiana’s forfeiture statute requires the State to demonstrate a nexus between the property sought by the State in the forfeiture and the underlying drug offense.” That is all well and good, see, e.g., Serrano v. State, 946 N.E.2d 1139, 1143 (Ind. 2011), but, as the State correctly notes in its brief, this case does not involve Indiana’s forfeiture statutes. It involves the turnover statute and, as described in Membres, that statute requires consideration only of the lawfulness of the seizure. The lawfulness of a seizure, in turn, is dependent on probable cause, which is not disputed in this appeal. Accordingly, Adams cannot demonstrate that he was prejudiced by the trial court’s transfer order, and we affirm that order.
- 10:30 AM - F.D. v. Indiana Department of Family Services (82S01-1301-CT-19) - Parents filed suit against the Department of Child Services (“DCS”), among others, based on the defendants’ failure to notify Parents that their daughter had been molested by another juvenile. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants on immunity grounds. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed, a majority holding sua sponte that the statute relied upon by Parents does not confer a private right of action against DCS. F.D. v. Indiana Dep’t of Family Servs., 973 N.E.2d 1186 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a 27-page, 3-opinion decision from Aug. 30, 2012, with 2 of the opinions dissenting "in part" concerns Indiana's child abuse reporting statutes and duties of the DCS.
Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 3/18/13):
Tuesday, March 19th
- 10:00 AM - State of Indiana v. Darrell L. Keck (67A01-1208-CR-362) Appellee was stopped by police for driving on the left side of the road. Appellee moved to suppress evidence arising out of the stop, arguing he should not have been stopped because he couldn’t drive on the right side. The trial court found “driving left-of-center has become a necessity” because of county road conditions and granted the motion. The State appeals.
The Scheduled Panel Members are: Chief Judge Robb, Judges Riley and May.
[Where: Paoli High School, 501 Elm Street, Paoli, Indiana 47454]
- 10:30 AM - Fishers Adolescent Catholic Enrichment v. Elizabeth Bridgewater, et al ( 93A02-1202-EX-145) FACES, Inc., is private, non-profit organization formed to provide social and educational opportunities for home-schooled children. The founders of the organization are Catholic parents and the majority, though not all, of the members are Catholic. At the time this dispute arose, FACES offered a number of educational courses, none of which related to religion. FACES also sponsored occasional social events. In 2008, FACES sponsored a ball, and one of the parents, Elizabeth Bridgewater, requested special dietary accommodations for her child, Alyssa, who planned to attend. Alyssa suffers from a condition that can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction if she eats certain foods. The Bridgewaters were unhappy with FACES’ treatment of their daughter’s dietary needs and filed an accommodation complaint with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (“ICRC”). Shortly thereafter, the Bridgewaters were expelled from FACES. They filed an additional complaint with the ICRC, alleging that FACES had retaliated against them due to their filing of the accommodation complaint. FACES moved to dismiss the complaints, arguing that the ICRC did not have jurisdiction over FACES, which it characterized as a religious-based organization. An ALJ ultimately ruled that the ICRC did have jurisdiction under Indiana’s Civil Rights Law (“ICRL”) because FACES’ functions “relate to” education. See Ind. Code § 22-9-1-3(1)(4). The ALJ later ruled on the merits of the Bridgewater’s complaints, concluding that FACES did not commit an unlawful discriminatory practice as to accommodating Alyssa, but did commit an unlawful discriminatory practice when it expelled the Bridgewater family after they filed the accommodation complaint. The ALJ awarded the Bridgwaters $5000 in damages and ordered FACES to: (1) cease and desist from retaliating against persons because they filed a complaint with the ICRC; (2) post a link to the ALJ’s order on all web sites on which they have communicated information regarding the case; and (3) offer reinstatement of the Bridgewater family to full membership, including all benefits. Both parties appealed, and the original order was affirmed in all respects, except in that the ALJ decreased the amount of damages to $2500. Both parties now appeal. The main issues raised on appeal relate to the ICRC’s jurisdiction over FACES and the corrective action FACES was ordered to undertake. In addition, the parties challenge the ALJ’s conclusions as to accommodation and retaliation, and damages. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Bailey, Vaidik and Brown. [Where: Indiana Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
Wednesday, March 20th
- 10:30 AM - Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund v. Judy Holcomb (49A05-1207-CC-340) In an action for excess damages, the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund paid $101,166.89 to the estate of Mable Cochran for damages arising from her wrongful death. The issue of attorney’s fees was submitted separately to the trial court, which ordered the Fund to pay an additional $50,440.00 in reasonable attorney’s fees as part of the damages suffered by the estate. The Fund appeals, contending the attorney’s fees award should have been limited pursuant to Indiana Code section 34-18-18-1 to fifteen percent of the recovery. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Chief Judge Robb, Judges May and Pyle. [Where: Indiana Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
Tuesday, March 26th
- 10:00 PM - Glenn Patrick Bradford v. State of Indiana (45A04-1208-PC-420) Glenn Patrick Bradford was convicted of murder and arson, and his convictions were affirmed on direct appeal. He now appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Bradford claims that newly-discovered evidence demonstrates that his convictions were erroneous. He further asserts that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct during his trial. In addition, Bradford contends that he received ineffective assistance from trial counsel and appellate counsel.
The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Riley, Vaidik, and Sr. Judge Shepard.
[Where: Indiana Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
- 11:00 AM - Vincennes University, et al v. Daniel E. Sparks (42A01-1206-PL-248) After an investigation into falsified information on a basketball recruit’s application to Vincennes University, Daniel Sparks, who was the head basketball coach at the time, agreed that in lieu of facing disciplinary proceedings, he would forfeit his tenure and be subject to a zero tolerance policy. The University employed Sparks for another year, but then notified him that his contract would not be renewed the following year. Sparks sued the University, contending that the University had to continue to employ him as long as he did not violate the zero tolerance policy. The trial court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment, and a jury ultimately returned a verdict in Sparks’s favor. On appeal, the University argues, alternatively, that the trial court should have granted its motion for summary judgment, the trial court should have granted its motion for a directed verdict, and the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges May, Crone, and Bradford. [Where: Valparaiso Law School, Valparaiso, Indiana]
The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.
NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 18, 2013 08:00 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments