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Friday, September 16, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 opinion(s) today (and 12 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (2):

In Jerry Arnold d/b/a Arnold's Jewelry and Gifts, Inc. v. Marcellus Long, Jr., Marcellus Long, Jr., P.C. a/k/a Law Office of Marcellus Long, P.L.L.C., and Hatchett Dewalt & Hatchett, P.L.L.C., et al., a 16-page opinion, Judge Riley writes:

Appellant-Plaintiff, Jerry Arnold d/b/a Arnold’s Jewelry and Gifts, Inc. (Arnold), appeals the grant of a motion to dismiss made by AppelleesDefendants, Marcellus Long Jr.; Marcellus Long Jr. P.C. a/k/a law office of Marcellus Long PLLC (Long); and Hatchett DeWalt & Hatchett PLLC (Hatchett DeWalt) (collectively, Appellees). We affirm.

Arnold raises three issues on appeal, one of which we find dispositive and restate as: Whether the trial court properly dismissed Arnold’s Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. * * *

As noted, the reasonableness of exercising jurisdiction over a defendant is determined by weighing five factors, namely (1) the burden on the defendant; (2) the forum State’s interest in adjudicating the dispute; (3) the plaintiff’s interest in obtaining convenience and effective relief; (4) the interstate judicial system’s interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution of controversies; and (5) the shared interest of the several States in furthering fundamental substantive social policies. See LinkAmerica, 857 N.E.2d at 967. * * *

Overall, we conclude that exercising jurisdiction over the Appellees would offend notions of fairness and reasonableness. Accordingly, the trial court properly dismissed Arnold’s Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.

In light on the foregoing, we conclude that the trial court properly dismissed Arnolds’ Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.

In Bradley Starr by Next Friend Heather Starr-Haller and Heather Starr-Haller v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Company and the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, a 13-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:
Heather Starr-Haller, on behalf of herself and her minor son, Bradley, appeals the trial court’s entry of summary judgment for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) on Starr-Haller’s complaint. Starr-Haller raises a single issue for our review, namely, whether the trial court erred when it entered summary judgment for State Farm. We affirm. * * *

In sum, the undisputed designated evidence shows that State Farm did not waive its right to deny Starr-Haller the coverage she now claims. The undisputed designated evidence likewise shows that State Farm is not estopped from denying her that coverage. Accordingly, State Farm met its burden to demonstrate that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and Starr-Haller has failed to designate evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact on her claims against State Farm. Thus, we affirm the trial court’s entry of summary judgment for State Farm.

NFP civil decisions today (2):

In Kathy Phariss, Clara Phariss by Next Friend of, Kathy Phariss v. Sara Haynes, Rick Doepping Personally and d/b/a Shangri-La Farms (mem. dec.), an 11-page, 2-1 opinion reversing the trial court, Judge Barnes writes:

Clara Phariss and her mother and next friend Kathy Phariss appeal the trial court’s order setting aside a default judgment against Sara Haynes. We reverse and remand.

The sole issue is whether there was a sufficient evidentiary basis for the trial court to set aside the default judgment * * *

Doepping/Shangri-La Farms contend that the unverified statements contained within the motion to set aside should have been sufficient to have the default judgment vacated. They argue that requiring a movant to present some admissible evidence to support a motion to set aside default judgment constitutes a re-writing of Trial Rule 60(B) and that the rule does not expressly contain any such requirement. Regardless, the rule has been consistently interpreted for decades by the courts of this state to have such a requirement. See, e.g., Bross, 466 N.E.2d at 469. The Indiana Supreme Court has never questioned that interpretation or the requirement that a motion to set aside default judgment must be supported by some quantum of admissible evidence. We continue to adhere to that requirement today. Because Haynes did not support her motion to set aside with any admissible evidence, the trial court abused its discretion in setting aside the default judgment.

Conclusion. The trial court abused its discretion in setting aside the default judgment in favor of the Pharisses and against Haynes. We reverse the granting of that motion and remand for further proceedings.

Riley, J., concurs.
Bailey, J., concurs and dissents with separate opinion. [that begins at p. 8] I concur with the majority’s conclusion that because Haynes failed to support her motion with admissible evidence of excusable neglect, the trial court abused its discretion in setting aside the default. However, because the measure of damages in this case was not certain and liquidated, the trial court should have held a damages hearing before entering judgment in the sum of $50,000. Accordingly, I would reinstate the entry of default, but would set aside the damages portion of the judgment and on remand instruct the court to hold a damages hearing at which Haynes may appear and defend.

Phillip David Long and Kathy Long v. Michael J. Lopez (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (10):

Phillip M. Geans v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jay E. Millen v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Lindsey P. Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

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

Johnathan L. Bean v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Raihiem Johnson v. State of Indiana

Jaaz Alexander Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

William Wilbert Ward-Bey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jeremy D. Washington v. State of Indiana (mem .dec.)

Nathan Hummel v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 16, 2016 11:20 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions