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Friday, December 02, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 opinion(s) today (and 5 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (1):

In First American Title Insurance v. Stephen W. Robertson, Insurance Commissioner of the State of Indiana, in his official capacity, on behalf of the Indiana Department of Insurance, a 17-page opinion, Judge Barnes writes:

First American Title Insurance Company (“FATIC”) appeals the trial court’s dismissal of its complaint against Stephen Robertson, Insurance Commissioner of the State of Indiana (“Commissioner”), in his official capacity, on behalf of the Indiana Department of Insurance (“IDOI”). We affirm.

FATIC raises two issues, which we consolidate and restate as whether the trial court properly dismissed FATIC’s Writ of Prohibition and Action for Mandate, Request for Declaratory Relief, and Verified Amended Petition for Judicial Review against IDOI. * * *

There is no claim here that IDOI lacks jurisdiction or general authority to investigate claims like those presented here. Rather, the issue is whether the Commissioner’s order was timely. As in Johnson, this type of fact-sensitive issue should be resolved in the first instance by the administrative agency, not through a declaratory judgment action or action for prohibition and mandate. Further, we note that neither Twin Eagle nor Johnson addressed the specific issue presented here—whether res judicata prevented FATIC from filing a declaratory judgment action and action for prohibition and mandate after having received an unfavorable result through the first appeal process. FATIC had an administrative remedy here and was required to pursue that remedy. Outboard Boating Club of Evansville, Inc. v. Indiana State Dep’t of Health, 952 N.E.2d 340, 343 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011) (“[W]here an administrative remedy is available, filing a declaratory judgment action is not a suitable alternative.”). Although its remedy failed due to its failure to file the complete agency record, res judicata prevents FATIC from taking a second bite at the apple by filing the instant action. We conclude that the trial court properly granted IDOI’s motion to dismiss.

NFP civil decisions today (1):

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: I.C. and Z.S., minor children, and C.S., Mother v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (4):

Beth Montgomery v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Hollis Lloyd v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Stephani Merrell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

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

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 2, 2016 11:15 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions