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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 today (and 5 NFP)

For publication opinions today (4):

In Wolf's Marine, Inc. v. Dev Brar, a 12-page opinion, Judge Barnes writes:

The sole issue before us is whether an Indiana court can exercise personal jurisdiction over Wolf’s. * * *

Wolf’s has a website claiming it is the “Midwest’s Largest Marine Accessory Store” and it also might advertise in Indiana phone books. Wolf’s has no physical facilities or employees in Indiana. * * *

Dr. Brar’s sole argument on appeal is that Wolf’s had sufficient contacts with Indiana to establish specific personal jurisdiction in this case; he does not argue that Wolf’s had such substantial, systematic, and continuous contacts with Indiana to establish general personal jurisdiction. In particular, Dr. Brar contends that this court has on several occasions held that a decision by an out-of-state defendant “to enter into a contract with an Indiana resident was sufficient to allow Indiana to exercise personal jurisdiction over that defendant.” * * *

Wolf’s alleged negligence or breach of contract occurred in Michigan, not Indiana. Wolf’s has no physical presence whatsoever in Indiana, in the form of facilities or employees. Also, Michigan has a greater interest than Indiana in ensuring that Wolf’s is operating its facility in a proper manner. Wolf’s deliberate contacts with Indiana were limited to general advertising, emailing a form contract to Leonard at Leonard’s request, and invoicing and receiving
payment from Leonard. We hold this was not sufficient “purposeful availment” of the privilege of conducting business in Indiana by Wolf’s so as to permit Indiana to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over it with respect to Dr. Brar’s cause of action.

Conclusion. The trial court incorrectly determined that personal jurisdiction over Wolf’s existed in Indiana, and it should have granted Wolf’s motion to dismiss. We reverse the denial of that motion.

In Joel Bowden, Ruby Bowden, Golden Companies, Inc., and Golden Purchasing and Staffing, Inc. v. E.J. Agnew and Golden-AGI, LLC , a 16-page opinion, Judge Friedlander writes:
Joel and Ruby Bowden, Golden Companies, Inc., and Golden Purchasing and Staffing, Inc. (collectively referred to as the Bowdens) appeal a multi-million-dollar judgment entered against them and in favor of E.J. Agnew and Golden-AGI, LLC (collectively referred to as Agnew). The Bowdens present the following restated and reordered issues for review:
1. Did the trial court have personal jurisdiction over Joel and Ruby Bowden?
2. Was it an abuse of discretion for the trial court to permit an accountant retained by Agnew to offer expert opinion testimony?
3. Did the trial court properly determine that the Bowdens committed criminal conversion, thus entitling Agnew to treble damages? * * *

The trial court erred in awarding treble damages under I.C. § 34-24-3-1. We, therefore, remand for correction of the judgment to award damages in the amount of $1,754,278. Judgment affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

In James Broxton v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Indiana Workforce Development, and Sodexo, an 18-page opinion, Judge Barnes writes:
James Broxton appeals the denial of his request for unemployment benefits by the Review Board of the Department of Workforce Development (“Review Board”). We affirm.
In Jeremy D. Mohr v. Virginia B. Smith Revocable Trust and Virginia B. Smith, as Trustee of the Virginia B. Smith Revocable Trust , a 15-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:
On the evening of September 17, 2010, Appellant-Plaintiff Jeremy Mohr and his friend Mallori Kastner entered property owned by Appellee-Defendant the Virginia B. Smith Revocable Trust and controlled by Appellee-Defendant Virginia Smith (collectively, “Smith”) without Smith’s knowledge, permission, or invitation. While on Smith’s property, Mohr and Kastner lay together in a hammock that was strung between two trees. Mohr brought suit against Smith seeking damages for serious injuries he sustained when one of the two trees supporting the hammock failed and fell on him and Kastner. Smith sought and was granted summary judgment. On appeal, Mohr contends that the trial court erroneously granted summary judgment in favor of Smith. We affirm.
NFP civil opinions today (0):

NFP criminal opinions today (5):

Steven S. Satterly v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Anthony A. Outlaw, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Anita Lopez v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jayson Chad-Allen George v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Timothy L. Sanders, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 9, 2014 11:14 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions