Monday, June 16, 2014
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 6/16/14):
Tuesday, June 17
- 9:00 AM - Wellpoint, Inc., et al v. National Union Fire Insurance, et al (49S05-1404-PL-00244) After Wellpoint, Inc. (f/k/a Anthem, Inc.) settled multi-district litigation without admitting liability, it sought indemnification and defense costs from several insurers. The trial court granted summary judgment to the insurers, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Wellpoint, Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 49A05-1202-PL-92 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a June 19, 2013, 2-1 NFP opinion.
- 9:45 AM - Joseph Buelna v. State of Indiana (32S04-1404-DR-245) Appellant was convicted in the Elkhart Superior Court of manufacturing methamphetamine, a class A felony. Among other things, Court of Appeals determined the drug was “pure or adulterated” as required by Indiana Code section 35-48-4-1.1, and there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Buelna v. State, No. 20A04-1305-CR-223 (Ind. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2014) (NFP memo. dec.), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case, thus vacating the opinion of the Court of Appeals, and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Jan. 30, 2014 NFP opinion appealing a conviction and sentence for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Thursday, June 26
- 9:00 AM - Charles R. Stephenson v. State of Indiana (15S00-1401-LW-40) Following a jury trial in the Dearborn Circuit Court, Charles Stephenson was convicted of murdering and robbing Leigh Jennings in her home on March 29, 2012. Committing the murder during the robbery made Stephenson eligible for an LWOP sentence. IC 35-50-2-9(a)(1)(G). The jury recommended a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, and Stephenson was sentenced accordingly. On appeal, Stephenson raises several issues relating to the proof at trial, the LWOP sentence, and the admission of certain evidence. This appeal comes directly to the Supreme Court because it is an appeal of the conviction and an LWOP sentence was imposed. See Ind. Appellate Rule 4(A)(1)(a).
- 9:45 AM - Jonathan D. Carpenter v. State of Indiana (02S05-1404-CR-246) Police responded to telephone calls that four dogs were fighting in Carpenter’s yard. The dogs, covered with mud and blood, were running in and out of the house through an open sliding glass door. Three of the dogs were captured. Two officers entered Carpenter’s house to capture the fourth dog, and they saw marijuana. They obtained a search warrant based on what they had seen, and confiscated marijuana and other controlled substances. The Allen Superior Court denied a motion to suppress this evidence and found Carpenter guilty of two class D felonies and other offenses. The Court of Appeals affirmed in Carpenter v. State, 3 N.E.3d 1068 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Feb. 20, 2014 COA opinion (4th case) where the COA wrote, in part: "Trimble and Davis dealt with whether the conditions of animals could constitute exigent circumstances justifying warrantless searches of areas outside of the homes. In the case before us, the investigation extended into the house only when one of the dogs, which was covered in blood, entered the home through an open door and would not come out."
- 10:30 AM - Scott F. Logan v. State of Indiana (20S05-1405-CR-339) After several continuances due to “court congestion” Logan filed a motion for discharge pursuant to Criminal Rule 4(C). The Elkhart Superior Court denied the motion and Logan was convicted of child molestation as a class C felony. The Court of Appeals affirmed in Logan v. State, No. 20A05-1304-CR-192 (Ind. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2014) (Mem. Dec.), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This is a Feb. 28, 2014 NFP opinion concluding: "[T]he trial court did not err in denying Logan’s motion for discharge under Crim. R. 4(C), and Logan has failed to demonstrate that the delays in his trial violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial." This May 22nd ILB entry quotes a SBT story asking "Does Court backlog violate right to speedy trial?"
Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 6/16/14):
Thursday, June 19
- 1:00 PM - Dodson v. Carlson, et al (49A04-1305-CT-267) Curt Carlson was driving home from a business meeting at a hotel when he struck a disabled vehicle. Carlson drank alcohol at the meeting. The collision killed its driver, Eboni Dodson. Dodson's estate sued Carlson's employer, Seven Corners, alleging that Seven Corners was liable for Carlson's actions under the theory of respondeat superior. The trial court granted summary judgment for Seven Corners on the ground that Carlson was not acting in the scope of his employment when he hit Dodson's car. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Baker, May and Bradford [Where: Fabiani Theater, University Center, Trine University, Angola, IN]
Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 6/23/14):
Monday, June 23
- 1:30 PM - Getrag KG v. Walbridge Aldinger Company (80A02-1310-CC-860) Getrag Getriebe-und Zahnradfabrik Hermann Hagenmeyer GMBH & CIE KG and Getrag International GMBH (collectively, “Getrag KG”) bring this interlocutory appeal from the trial court’s denial of their motion to dismiss the complaint of Walbridge Aldinger Company (“Walbridge”) pursuant to Indiana Trial Rules 12(B)(2) and 12(B)(5). Getrag KG is a German limited partnership with its principal place of business in Germany and Walbridge is a Michigan corporation with its principal place of business in Michigan. According to Walbridge’s complaint, Getrag KG is a leading manufacturer of dual-clutch transmissions, and in 2006 Getrag KG and Chrysler Group LLC agreed to jointly develop a manufacturing plant in Tipton for the purpose of manufacturing dual-clutch transmissions for Chrysler automobiles. Walbridge alleges that Getrag KG hired it to construct this plant, but, in late 2008, Getrag KG ordered Walbridge to stop construction and refused to pay Walbridge more than $35 million in expenses that Walbridge had incurred. Attached to Walbridge’s complaint were numerous purchase orders, each of which states that the parties shall abide by certain terms and conditions. Among these terms and conditions is a requirement that any disputes between the parties be resolved in Germany and pursuant to German law. As such, Getrag KG moved to dismiss Walbridge’s complaint. The trial court denied Getrag KG’s motion pursuant to IC 32-28-3-17, which declares “void” any “provision in a contract for the improvement of real estate in Indiana” that “makes the contract subject to the laws of another state” or “requires litigation . . . on the contract occur in another state.” On appeal, Getrag KG asserts that the terms and conditions are binding under Indiana law, that IC 32-28-3-17 does not apply on these facts, and that, if it did apply, the statute would be preempted by the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Chief Judge Vaidik, Judges Najam and Brown. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
Tuesday, June 24
- 1:00 PM - Melton v. Stephens (14A01-1308-CT-356) This interlocutory appeal arose from a motor vehicle collision between Appellee-Plaintiff Stacy S. Stephens (Stephens) and Appellants-Defendants James K. Melton (Melton) and Perdue Foods LLC (Perdue) (collectively, Appellants), in Lawrence County, Illinois. In a motion for partial summary judgment, Perdue advocated for the application of Indiana's substantive law on the collision, while Stephens asserted the application of Illinois law in her response to Perdue's motion. Relying on Indiana's choice of law rules, the trial court concluded that because the contacts between this cause of action and the State of Illinois were substantial, the lex loci delicti (i.e., Illinois' substantive law) governed the facts of this cause. Appellants requested oral argument to explain Indiana's choice of law rules enunciated by our Supreme Court's ruling in Hubbard Manufacturing Co., Inc. v. Greeson, 515 N.E.2d 1071 (Ind. 1987) and later clarified by Simon v. U.S., 805 N.E.2d 798 (Ind. 2004). The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Najam, Riley and Robb. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
- 1:00 PM - Citizens Action Coalition v. Duke Energy Indiana (93A02-1305-EX-394) In November 2007, Duke Energy Indiana, Inc. ("Duke") received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ("IURC") to build an "integrated gasification combined cycle" power plant ("Plant") at Duke's Edwardsport facility in Knox County, Indiana. As allowed under IC 8-1-8.5-6, the IURC ordered semi-annual reviews of the Plant's construction progress. During each six-month review, and as permitted under IC 8-1-8.8, Duke asked the IURC for permission to timely recover "reasonable and necessary" constructions costs and financing costs through customer utility rates. In the instant action, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Inc., Save the Valley, Inc., Sierra Club, and Valley Watch, Inc. ("Joint Intervenors") appeal from the IURC's order in its ninth semi-annual review. On appeals, the Joint Intervenors present the following issues: Whether the IURC committed reversible error by authorizing inclusion of 100 percent of Duke's requested financing costs (under IC 8-1-8.8-12) in retail customer rates without making any findings of fact or conclusions thereon regarding Joint Intervenors' argument that Duke cannot recover financing costs for a three-month delay in construction; and Whether the IURC committed reversible error by unconditionally allowing Duke to declare 50 percent of the Plant to be "in service" without making any findings of fact or conclusions thereon, and despite Duke's admission that the Plant had not reached its "In-Service Operational Date" as that term was defined in the Settlement Agreement to which Duke was a party. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Kirsch, Bailey and May. [Where: Krannert Center for Executive Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN]
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 June 16, 2014 07:59 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments