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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 6 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Jeri Good v. Indiana Teachers Retirement Fund, a 9-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:

Jeri Good was a member of the Indiana Teachers Retirement Fund (now a part of the Indiana Public Retirement System (“INPRS”)) for twenty-nine and a half years and left her INPRS-covered job. Five months later, she purchased a half-year of additional service credit from INPRS, which made her eligible to receive retirement benefits starting at age fifty-five based on thirty years of service. Shortly before she turned fifty-five, Good contacted INPRS to ask about the consequences of delaying her application for retirement benefits. An INPRS employee told Good that her benefits would be paid retroactively but failed to inform her that, pursuant to statute, they could be paid retroactively only up to six months before her application date. Based on the information provided by the INPRS employee, Good delayed filing her application for one year and requested benefits retroactive to her fifty-fifth birthday. INPRS determined that she was entitled to only six months of retroactive benefits. Good filed an administrative appeal, which was decided in INPRS’s favor. She then petitioned for judicial review of that decision, which the trial court affirmed.

On appeal, Good does not dispute that Indiana law limits an INPRS member to six months of retroactive retirement benefits. Instead, she contends that she is entitled to additional retroactive benefits based on the theories of equitable estoppel, unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty. We conclude as follows: (1) equitable estoppel is inapplicable because the facts regarding Good’s retirement were equally available to both parties and she is charged with knowledge of the law regarding retroactive benefits; (2) unjust enrichment is also inapplicable in light of that imputed knowledge; and (3) her fiduciary duty claim fails because there is no indication that the INPRS employee was a fiduciary. Therefore, we affirm.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.W. & A.W. and J.W. v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (5):

Nathaniel E. Moffett v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Nathaniel J. Richardson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Heather L. McDaniel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Roy Dale Weber v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ritchie Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 20, 2015 10:52 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions