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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 opinion(s) today (and 8 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (2):

In LBLHA, LLC, Margaret L. West, and Don H. Gunderson v. Town of Long Beach, Indiana, Alliance for the Great Lakes and Save the Dunes, Long Beach Community Alliance, Patrick Cannon, et al., a 30-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:

LBLHA, LLC, Margaret L. West, and Don H. Gunderson (collectively, the “Lakefront Owners”) appeal orders of the trial court dismissing all counts of their complaint against the Town of Long Beach, Indiana (the “Town”) and other intervenor defendants, raising several issues. We find dispositive at this stage in the proceedings whether the State of Indiana or appropriate State officials as individuals in their official capacity should have been added or joined as a party or parties to the proceedings prior to the rulings on the Lakefront Owners’ claims. We reverse and remand. * * *

In sum, we conclude the State of Indiana or appropriate State officials as individuals in their official capacity should have been added or joined as a party or parties to the proceedings prior to the rulings on the parties’ respective summary judgment motions and, accordingly, we reverse the court’s entry of summary judgment with respect to Counts I through IV of the Lakefront Owners’ complaint. We also find the court was without authority to enter an order as to Count V on April 24, 2014. After the State of Indiana is given the opportunity to present its position with respect to its ownership interest or the interest of the public in or to the disputed beach area, the trial court may rule on the parties’ summary judgment motions or proceed to trial with respect to one or more of the Lakefront Owners’ claims. We express no opinion regarding the allegations under any of the counts of the Lakefront Owners’ complaint or arguments set forth in the parties’ summary judgment materials or on appeal by the parties or amici curiae with respect to the Lakefront Owners’ claims.

Conclusion. For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the court’s December 26, 2013 order entering summary judgment with respect to Counts I through IV of the Lakefront Owners’ complaint, reverse the court’s April 24, 2014 order with respect to Count V, and remand to allow the addition of the State of Indiana or appropriate State officials as individuals in their official capacity as a party or parties, and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

ILB: The above case on Lake Michigan shorefront property rights is one which the ILB has been following since its inception. See this list of posts.

In Marvin Crussel v. State of Indiana , a 12-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

Marvin Crussel (“Crussel”) appeals, following a bench trial, his conviction for Class B misdemeanor reckless driving.1 Crussel concedes that he drove at an unreasonably high rate of speed but argues that we should reverse his conviction because the evidence presented was insufficient to show endangerment. Concluding that the trial court, acting as factfinder, could have reasonably inferred that Crussel’s act of driving ninety-one miles per hour in a fifty-five mile-per-hour zone at around 10:30 p.m. in the dark of night on a portion of a country road that had houses and cross streets endangered the safety and property of others, we affirm his conviction. * * *

Crussel’s argument—which in essence challenges the significance applied to the evidence of the circumstances surrounding his act of recklessly driving at an unreasonably high rate of speed—is nothing more than an invitation to reweigh the evidence, which we will not do.

NFP civil decisions today (2):

A.A. v. A.S. (mem. dec.)

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.S. (Minor Child); J.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (6):

Malaysia D. Lockhart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Juan Humberto Lara-Molina v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Antwain Bateman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Eugene Bowers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Scotty Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Dillon Wayne Steinert v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 26, 2015 11:22 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions