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Friday, August 08, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 6 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Geico Insurance Company, as subrogee of Ralph Heitkamp v. Dianna Graham, an 1-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:

Insured motorists are called upon every day to pay their deductibles in order for their carriers to cover the necessary repairs to their motor vehicles after accidents. Many carriers refuse to include those deductibles in the subrogated claims they make against the other motorists involved in accidents with their insureds. Because they are left on their own, insured motorists often later sue the other motorist(s) involved in those accidents in a small claims court to recover the deductible amounts they paid. And, almost as often, these insured motorists are successful in the small claims action for their deductibles. But here, Geico Insurance Company’s (“Geico’s”), insured, Ralph Heitkamp (“Heitkamp”), lost his claim for his deductible in the Small Claims Division of the St. Joseph Superior Court. As a result, Geico now appeals the order of the Marion Superior Court granting a motion filed by the other motorist involved in the accident at issue, Dianna Graham (“Graham”), seeking to set aside the court’s earlier entry of summary judgment in favor of Geico. On appeal, Geico claims that the trial court erred in concluding that a prior small claims judgment in favor of Graham acted as res judicata to bar Geico’s claims against Graham. * * *

Under the facts and circumstances before us in this case, we conclude that Geico was in privity with Heitkamp for purposes of the res judicata effects of the St. Joseph County small claim action. Geico’s Marion Superior Court claim against Graham was derivative of Heitkamp’s St. Joseph County small claim against Graham. Heitkamp lost in the small claims action against Graham, and neither he, nor Geico as his subrogee, could relitigate the same claim in Marion County. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in granting Graham’s motion to set aside the judgment on the grounds that Geico’s current claim against her is barred by the claim preclusion branch of the doctrine of res judicata.

In Victor Keeylen v. State of Indiana , a 23-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:

Victor Keeylen (“Keeylen”) brings this interlocutory appeal challenging the Marion Superior Court’s denial of his motion to suppress. On appeal, Keeylen claims that both Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution and the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution require the suppression of evidence he claims was discovered as a result of the police installing a GPS tracking device on his vehicles without a warrant. Although we agree with Keeylen that the warrantless installation and use of the GPS devices was improper, we nevertheless conclude that suppression of the evidence discovered during the execution of a search warrant on Keeylen’s residence was not warranted under the particular facts and circumstances of this case. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s denial of Keeylen’s motion to suppress. * * *

Even though the warrantless installation of the GPS devices and monitoring of Keeylen’s vehicles was improper, the trial court did not err in concluding that Keeylen failed to establish that the police engaged in deliberate falsehood or acted with a reckless disregard for the truth when they omitted the information regarding the GPS tracking devices from the probable cause affidavit. Nor did Keeylen establish that probable cause would no longer exist if the omitted information had been considered by the issuing judge. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying Keeylen’s motion to suppress.

NFP civil opinions today (3):

Kimberly Kraemer v. Haulers Insurance Co., Inc., as subrogee of Linda Shanabarger (NFP)

In re; the Paternity of BKS, CSS v. RSK (NFP)

Patrick Palmer Jr. v. Chastity Carse (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (3):

Jason Keith Scott v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Samuel Curts v. State of Indiana (NFP)

R.C. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 8, 2014 01:11 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions