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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 0 opinion(s) today (and 1 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (0):

NFP civil decisions today (1):

In Anthony Fisher v. Charles Nightingale (mem. dec.), a 4-page opinion, Judge Robb writes:

Anthony Fisher, pro se, appeals the small claims court’s order dismissing his complaint for failure to prosecute. Fisher raises a single issue on appeal, whether the small claims court denied Fisher his constitutional right to bring a civil action. We reverse. * * *

Despite knowing it was impossible for Fisher to attend trial due to his incarceration, the small claims court nonetheless ordered Fisher be present at trial, and made it clear that if Fisher failed to attend, the small claims court would dismiss the cause of action. The small claims court’s order completely, and prematurely, foreclosed any avenue for Fisher to prosecute his claim. See id. Therefore, when the small claims court dismissed the cause of action after Fisher did not attend the scheduled trial date, the small claims court denied Fisher’s constitutional right to prosecute his claim.

By foreclosing any alternative avenue for Fisher to maintain his claim, the small claims court denied Fisher’s constitutional right to prosecute his claim. Accordingly, we reverse the dismissal of his small claims action.

NFP criminal decisions today (0):

ILB: Notice today's opinion been added to the ILB's "Why is this NFP?" category.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 6, 2016 12:31 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions | Why is this NFP?