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Monday, January 12, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 5 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In David Anderson, Comm., Joe Wray, Comm., and Board of Trustees, Brown Co. Fire. Prot. Dist. v. Susanne Gaudin, Janet Kramer, And Ruth Reichmann, a 14-page opinion, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:

In 2007 the Brown County Commissioners enacted an ordinance establishing a county-wide fire-protection district. In 2011 the Commissioners amended the ordinance, reducing dramatically the scope of the ordinance and the powers granted to the Board of Trustees. County-resident freeholders first filed suit for declaratory judgment, and then the Commissioners and the freeholders filed cross motions for summary judgment, asking the trial court to determine whether the amended ordinance was a valid exercise of the Commissioners’ authority. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the freeholders, finding that the amendment was a de facto dissolution of the ordinance, in contravention of the Fire District Act and this Court’s opinion in Gaudin v. Austin, 921 N.E.2d 895 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010).[1] On appeal, the Commissioners contend that the amended ordinance was a valid exercise of their authority. We affirm the trial court, finding that the “amendment” made to the ordinance amounted to a de facto dissolution, and that the Commissioners did not have the authority to amend the ordinance at all.
[1] The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in Gaudin in October 2010. Thereafter the Court issued an order stating that Chief Justice Shepard did not participate in the case, and writing in relevant part as follows: “After oral argument and further review, of the four members of this Court able to participate in this case, two Justices believe that the result reached by the trial court was correct, and two Justices are of a contrary belief.” Therefore, the Supreme Court reinstated this Court’s decision pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 58(C). Gaudin v. Austin, 936 N.E.2d 1241 (Ind. 2010).
ILB: The opinion, in a dispute that has a lot of history (eg this 11/17,10 ILB post), contains a number of other significant footnotes.

In Randy Corn v. Junior P. Corn, Bonnie D. Corn and Benjamin Corn , an 18-page opinion, Judge Bailey writes:

Randy Corn (“Randy”) appeals, and Junior P. Corn (“Junior”), Bonnie C. Corn, and Benjamin P. Corn (“Benjamin”) (collectively, “the Corns”) cross-appeal the trial court’s order finding Randy and the Corns to be tenants-in-common of a thirty foot-wide lane (“the lane”) running through the Corns’ property and into Randy’s property.

We conclude that the trial court misconstrued the deed provisions relevant to conveyance of the lane, and that fee simple title to the lane rested solely in Randy. But because there is evidence to suggest the existence of a prescriptive easement permitting the Corns to use the lane, and because Randy sought a permanent injunction against such use, we accordingly reverse the trial court’s finding that Randy and Junior were tenants in common as to the lane and remand for consideration of each party’s claims as to 1) the existence and scope of any prescriptive easement, and 2) a permanent injunction.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: R.S. v. Gallahue Mental Health Services (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (4):

Robert C.W. Getchell v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Wesley A. New v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Curtis Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Juaquin Diaz-Delreal v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 12, 2015 10:36 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions