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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 7 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Lora Hoagland v. Franklin Township Community School Corporation, a 16-page opinion, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:

Indiana’s public schools lost hundreds of millions of dollars when new property-tax caps went into effect in 2010. Franklin Township Community School Corporation (“Franklin Township”)—one of a number of school corporations hit hardest by the new property-tax caps—responded by eliminating student transportation for the 2011-2012 school year. Franklin Township later contracted with an educational service center to provide student transportation for an annual fee. In November 2011 township parents filed a class-action lawsuit against the school corporation, challenging the constitutionality of its actions.

Though this case raises a number of legal questions, one is of primary importance: did Franklin Township act unconstitutionally with respect to student transportation? Applying our Supreme Court’s reasoning in Nagy v. Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp., 844 N.E.2d 481 (Ind. 2006), we conclude that it did. We affirm in part and reverse in part. * * *

In summary, we affirm in part and reverse in part. We affirm the trial court’s conclusion that Hoagland is not entitled to legal relief, as there is no right of action for monetary damages under the Indiana Constitution. However, we conclude that the ITCA does not apply to Hoagland’s state constitutional claim, and we reverse the trial court on that ground. We also conclude that Franklin Township acted unconstitutionally by discontinuing student transportation to and from school and by later contracting with CIESC to provide that transportation for a yearly fee, and Hoagland is entitled to declaratory judgment to that effect. We therefore reverse the trial court’s denial of declaratory judgment and remand to the trial court with instructions to enter a declaratory judgment consistent with this opinion.

In West Bend Mutual Insurance Company and K.B. Electric, LLC v. MacDougal Pierce Construction, Inc., Amerisure Insurance Company, et al., a 26-page opinion, Judge Kirsch concludes:
We conclude that the trial court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of Amerisure and MacDougall. The parties’ rights and liabilities to each other were outlined contractually by the terms of indemnification. Once that determination was made, then the insurance coverage issues could be resolved. Thus, the trial court’s decision on indemnification was not premature, but in fact, necessary to prevent the hazards of circular litigation. The Subcontract explicitly referred to the Prime Contract and other documents, incorporating their terms into the Subcontract. That K.B. Electric obtained umbrella coverage from West Bend further evinces the understanding that K.B. Electric was required to do just that. Therefore, the trial court’s judgment was correct in all respects.
NFP civil opinions today (1):

Michael A. Riley v. Oscar and Linda Sandlin (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (6):

Kevin M. Barber v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Latoya C. Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Robert F. Petty v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ted Mueller, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dwayne Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Brandon Kincheloe v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 10, 2014 10:27 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions