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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 opinion(s) today (and 13 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (2):

In ESPN, Inc. and Paula Lavigne v. University of Notre Dame Security Police Dept., a Dept. of the University of Notre Dame du Lac, a 29-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

This appeal concerns the issue of whether the campus police department of a private university is subject to the Indiana Access to Public Records Act (“APRA”). Appellants/Plaintiffs, ESPN, Inc. (“ESPN, Inc.”) and Paula Lavigne (“Lavigne”) (collectively, “ESPN”) filed a complaint against Appellee/Defendant, University of Notre Dame Security Police Department (“the Police Department”), claiming that the Police Department qualified as a public agency under APRA and had violated APRA by refusing to provide ESPN with access to certain public records that ESPN had requested. After both parties filed cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings under Trial Rule 12(C), the trial court granted judgment in favor of the Police Department and denied ESPN’s cross-motion, determining that the Police Department was not subject to APRA. * * *

[1] [W]e conclude that it is possible for a subdivision of a private entity to be considered a public agency under APRA for purposes of public disclosure relating to its exercise of a public function without subjecting the entire private entity to APRA.

[2] Legislative Acquiescence. * * * As we stated above, we will only apply the doctrine of legislative acquiescence when an administrative interpretation is long-standing in nature. See Citizens Action Coal. of Ind., Inc., 485 N.E.2d at 616. Compared to these decision, the PACs’ administrative interpretations here were not long-standing in nature—they were issued over a period of a little more than a decade. We are not convinced that this amount of time raised “a strong presumption that the [legislature] ha[d] acquiesced to the administrative interpretation.” Beer Distrib. of Ind., Inc., 431 N.E.2d at 840. Accordingly, we will not apply the doctrine of legislative acquiescence to bar ESPN’s claim.

Because we conclude that the Police Department does qualify as a “public agency” under APRA and that ESPN’s claim is not barred by the doctrine of legislative acquiescence, we also conclude that the trial court erred in entering judgment in favor of the Police Department. However, we cannot, as ESPN requests, order the Police Department to produce the records that ESPN sought because we are not able to determine whether those records are accessible under APRA. ESPN’s three requests are not a part of the record, and APRA exempts certain categories of public documents, such as investigatory records, from its public access requirements. See I.C. § 5-14-3-4 (listing records excepted from disclosure requirements). We remand to the trial court with instructions to enter judgment in favor of ESPN and to evaluate ESPN’s records requests to determine which records the Police Department is required to produce under APRA. Reversed and remanded with instructions.

In HealthPort Technologies, LLC v. Garrison Law Firm, LLC, a 7-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:
In this interlocutory appeal, Garrison Law Firm, LLC, (“Garrison”), filed a complaint for damages against HealthPort Technologies, LLC, (“HealthPort”) alleging that HealthPort had imposed an illegal charge on Garrison’s requests for the medical records of potential clients. HealthPort filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which the trial court denied. On appeal, HealthPort argues that the trial court erred in denying its motion because Garrison does not have a private cause of action. Because INDIANA CODE § 16-39-9-4, in conjunction with 760 Indiana Administrative Code 1-71-3, does not give rise to a private cause of action, we reverse the trial court’s denial of HealthPort’s motion.
NFP civil decisions today (3):

Ace Chester v. Kye Kellems, Tye Doenges, and Sky Chester (mem. dec.)

In the Matter of the Commitment of T.M., T.M. v. Adult & Child Mental Health Center, Inc. (mem. dec.)

In the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of: B.A. (Minor Child), and, D.L. (Father) v. Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (10):

B.N. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Theodore T. Schwartz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Timothy Reno v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Johnny Rice v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Demajio Ellis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Miguel Garcia v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Antwane L. Broomfield v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Darryl Dewitte Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Joseph Matters v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Michael Day v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 15, 2016 10:49 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions