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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 opinion(s) today (and 5 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (2):

In City of Lawrence Utilities Service Board, City of Lawrence, Indiana, and Dean Jessup, Individually and in His Official Capacity v. Carlton E. Curry, a 17-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Baker writes:

An Indiana statute clearly provides that a utility service board may terminate a superintendent for cause after providing an opportunity for a hearing. The question with which we are confronted is whether this is the exclusive manner in which a utility superintendent may be terminated. We find that it is not.

The City of Lawrence (the City), the City of Lawrence Utilities Services Board (the USB), and Mayor Dean Jessup (collectively, the Government) appeal the trial court’s order, which granted summary judgment in favor of Carlton Curry on Curry’s wrongful discharge claim and denied the Government’s summary judgment motion on Curry’s claim for intentional interference with employment relationship. Curry cross-appeals, arguing that the trial court erroneously granted summary judgment in favor of the Government on his claim under the Wage Payment Statute.

We find as follows: (1) the mayor had authority to terminate Curry’s employment; (2) as such, Curry has no right to prevail on an intentional interference with employment relationship claim; and (3) Curry is not entitled to recover under the Wage Payment Statute. We reverse the judgment of the trial court with respect to the wrongful discharge and intentional interference with employment relationship claims and remand with instructions to enter summary judgment in the Government’s favor on those two counts. We affirm the trial court’s order with respect to the Wage Payment Statute count. * * *

May, J., concurs, and
Brown, J., concurs in part and dissents in part with separate opinion. [that begins, at p. 15] concur with the majority’s handling of Curry’s cross-appeal issue regarding his claim under the Wage Payment Statute, but I respectfully dissent from the majority’s conclusions to reverse the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Curry regarding his wrongful discharge claim and to deny the Government’s summary judgment claim on Curry’s intentional interference with employment relationship claim.

In In the Matter of J.B. and L.B.: J.J. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services , a 7-page opinion, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:
J.J. (Mother) and G.B. (Father) shared custody of their children pursuant to a paternity court’s custody order. When Mother, high on methamphetamine, got into a car accident with the children, the Indiana Department of Child Services placed the children with Father and filed a petition alleging that the children were in need of services. After Mother and Father admitted that the children were CHINS, the juvenile court entered an order that modified custody of the children pursuant to the custody-modification statutes—giving Father full custody and Mother supervised parenting time—and discharged the parties.

While the juvenile court could enter a dispositional decree that removed the children from Mother and authorized DCS to place them with Father, as soon as the court discharged the parties, it lost jurisdiction. At this point, jurisdiction reverted to the paternity court, where the paternity court’s joint custody order controlled. We therefore reverse and remand.

NFP civil decisions today (2):

Robert Middleton v. Paula Pyatte (mem. dec.)

Thomas Moriarty, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Donna Davis, Deceased v. West Morgan, LLC (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (3):

Byung Soo Kim v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Tristan Crayton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Shaquille Q. Delaney v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 8, 2016 11:23 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions