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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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

For publication opinions today (2):

In Pinnacle Healthcare, LLC and Patrick J. Sheets, M.D., Inc. v. Patrick J. Sheets , a 14-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:

Pinnacle Healthcare, LLC (“Pinnacle”), and Patrick J. Sheets, M.D., Inc. (“the Practice”) (collectively, “the Appellants”) bring this interlocutory appeal from the trial court’s denial of their motion for a preliminary injunction against Dr. Patrick J. Sheets, which sought to enjoin Dr. Sheets from violating or continuing to violate contractual noncompete, nonsolicitation, and nondisparagement clauses. The Appellants raise three issues for our review, which we restate as whether the trial court’s denial of their motion for a preliminary injunction is clearly erroneous. We reverse and remand with instructions. * * *

In sum, the trial court’s judgment denying the Appellants’ motion for a preliminary injunction is clearly erroneous. The trial court’s findings do not disclose a valid basis for its judgment with respect to any of the four requirements for a preliminary injunction. Further, the trial court’s assessment of the public interest and its reliance on Udom are contrary to Indiana law. [ILB: Udom is a Tenn. case cited on p. 6]

Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s denial of the Appellants’ motion for a preliminary injunction, and we remand with instructions for the court to hold a hearing on the Appellants’ motion pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 65. While the court may consider the evidence presented at the December 13, 2013, hearing on Dr. Sheets’ motion pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 65(A)(2), as the court itself recognized in its order on the Appellants’ motion a hearing is required at least on the Appellants’ new allegations. See Appellants’ App. at A7. Hence, on remand, the court shall hold a hearing on the Appellants’ motion and, thereafter, the court shall enter a judgment on the Appellants’ motion that is not inconsistent with this opinion.

In Town of Lapel, Indiana v. City of Anderson, Indiana, a 10-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
The Town of Lapel (Lapel) appeals the trial court’s order granting summary judgment to the City of Anderson (Anderson). After Lapel annexed a parcel of real property located in Madison County, Anderson filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to have the annexation declared invalid and void. The general rule is that the only way to challenge an annexation is via a statutory remonstrance or statutory appeal. Anderson does not meet the criteria to be a remonstrator or a statutory appellant. There are limited exceptions to the general rule, providing that under certain circumstances, a complainant may bring a declaratory judgment action to challenge an annexation. We find that Anderson does not meet these exceptions and that, consequently, it does not have standing to challenge Lapel’s annexation. Therefore, we reverse and remand with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of Lapel.
NFP civil opinions today (3):

In Kokomo Board of Zoning Appeals v. Markland Properties, LLC, Thrust Inc. d/b/a Tease Bar, Brett Morrow and Dustin Ogle (NFP), an 11-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:

The Kokomo Board of Zoning Appeals (“the BZA”) appeals the Howard Circuit Court’s order reversing the BZA’s decision that Markland Properties, LLC, Thrust Inc. d/b/a Tease Bar, Brett Morrow and Dustin Ogle (collectively “Tease Bar”) increased the floor area of the business beyond the ten percent expansion allowed under Kokomo’s Zoning Ordinance, and therefore, Tease Bar could no longer operate its sexually oriented adult entertainment business as a legal-nonconforming use. We affirm. * * *

There is no question that by removing an interior wall, Tease Bar’s square footage increased and it now occupies the entire ground floor of the building. But the increase in square footage of the non-conforming use did not expand the existing “structure” or “floor area” as those terms are defined in the Ordinance. For all of these reasons, we agree with the trial court that there was “no evidence introduced to support the contention that the structure was enlarged, expanded, increased, or extended.” See Appellant’s App. p. 16 (emphasis in original). For this reason the BZA’s decision was arbitrary and an abuse of discretion. We therefore affirm the trial court in all respects.

Donald Moss v. Progressive Design Apparel, Inc. (NFP)

Mary Ragon as Personal Representative of the Estate of Larry Ragon v. Eli Lilly & Company (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (4):

Jay Sleet v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Melissa S. Johnson Mabie v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Roy Austin Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James McDuffy v. State of Indiana (NFP)

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