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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 opinion(s) today (and 7 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Michael R. Bixeman and Doreen Bixeman v. Hunter's Run Homeowners Association of St. John, Inc., a 9-page opinion, Judge May writes:

Michael R. Bixeman and Doreen Bixeman (“Bixemans”) appeal the court’s declaration as moot their allegation of slander of title by Hunter’s Run Homeowners Association of St. John, Inc. (“Hunter’s Run”). Hunter’s Run cross-appeals the court’s determination the sanction Hunter’s Run imposed against Bixemans was invalid. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand. * * *

As Hunter’s Run did not follow the process agreed to in the Declaration, the sanctions were invalid. However, Bixemans demonstrated slander of title by Hunter’s Run invalid lien. Thus, we reverse and remand for the trial court to determine Bixemans’ damages, including attorney fees.

In Roger D. Levy v. Elizabeth Jackson, an 11page, 2-1 opinion, Judge May concludes:
When a court fails to comply with Trial Rule 59(J)’s requirements, we have no choice but to reinstate the jury’s verdict because “[e]xplanations crafted after appellate remand - six months or a year after the trial court heard the evidence (or in this instance, two years) - represent an inadequate exercise of [the court’s] obligation.” Id. at 1153. Accordingly, we reinstate the jury verdict. We reverse and remand for the court to reinstate jury verdict.

Mathias, J., concurs.
Robb, J., dissents with separate opinion. [which begins at p. 8, and concludes] Here, the trial court gave the reasons why it believed the ends of justice required a new trial, describing in some detail the evidence supporting such a judgment but failing to specifically weigh it against the opposing evidence. If the trial court considered the opposing evidence in reaching its conclusion, then an amended order on remand would be a simple matter. And if the trial court did not consider the opposing evidence, then it has the chance on remand to fix the problem on its own accord and vacate the order for a new trial. I do not mean to imply that a trial court should not endeavor in every instance to fully comply with the requirements placed upon it by our rules and statutes. As White noted, “if the court overrides the jury in its special domain and substitutes its verdict for theirs without a clear showing that the ends of justice required it, it is likely that they did not.” 474 N.E.2d at 1000. When a trial court does not even attempt to make that showing, perhaps it is because it would be unable to do so. But when it appears that a trial court has endeavored to do so but has simply fallen short in some particular, I would allow the trial court an opportunity to supplement its order.

NFP civil decisions today (2):

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor v. Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, d/b/a Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana, Inc. (mem. dec.)

Michael Nance v. Ron Neal (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (5):

Ian James Dutton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Eric L. Davis, Sr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Keith Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Gary Wilson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jody Meredith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 11, 2015 10:34 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions