« Ind. Courts - "Civil rights attorneys petition state high court to address deficiencies" | Main | Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides two today »

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 opinion(s) today (and 9 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (3):

In The Board of Commissioners of Union County, Indiana v. Brandye Hendrickson, in her official capacity as Commissioner of the Ind. Dept. of Transportation, and the State of Indiana, a 20-page opinion, Judge Barnes writes:

The Board of Commissioners of Union County (“the County”) appeals the dismissal of its complaint against Brandye Hendrickson, in her official capacity as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”), and INDOT itself (collectively “INDOT”). We reverse and remand.

The restated issues before us are:

I. whether this court is reviewing the dismissal of a complaint under Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6) or the granting of summary judgment under Indiana Trial Rule 56;

II. whether the trial court properly concluded that the County lacked standing to seek a declaratory judgment against INDOT; and

III. whether the trial court properly concluded that the County lacked standing to seek an injunction against INDOT. * * *

We have reviewed this case as a Trial Rule 12(B)(6) dismissal of a complaint, not a granting of summary judgment, and accordingly have disregarded Parker’s affidavit in considering the merits of the trial court’s ruling. We hold that the trial court erred in dismissing the County’s action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against INDOT and that the County has standing to pursue those claims. We reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

In Duke Energy of Indiana, LLC v. City of Franklin, Indiana, a 24-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:
Appellee-Defendant the City of Franklin, Indiana (“the City”), in cooperation with the State, has proposed a plan to revitalize and improve a stretch of Indiana State Road 44 (“SR 44”) that serves a major east-west artery (“the Traffic Plan”). The Traffic Plan includes, inter alia, a proposal to connect the three-way intersection of County Club Lane and Longest Drive (“the Intersection”) to SR 44. Appellant-Plaintiff Duke Energy of Indiana, LLC (“Duke”) holds a utility easement in the land underneath the proposed Intersection expansion and requested a preliminary injunction to prevent the City from completing the expansion of the Intersection, contending the City lacks sufficient property rights to allow it to do so and that the expansion would impermissibly interfere with its easement rights. The trial court denied Duke’s request for a preliminary injunction, and Duke now appeals. Because we conclude that Duke lacks standing to challenge the City’s property interests in the real estate at issue and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Duke does not have a reasonable probability of success at trial, we affirm. * * *

We conclude that Duke, as a mere utility-easement holder, lacks standing to maintain an ejectment action against the City on the basis that the City does not have sufficient property rights to expand the Intersection. Moreover, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that Duke failed to show a reasonable likelihood of success at trial. Consequently, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Duke’s request for a preliminary injunction against the City. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

In Danielle Green v. State of Indiana , a 33-page opinion, Judge Kirsch writes:
Following a jury trial, Danielle Green (“Green”) appeals her conviction and sentence for murder, a felony. She raises four issues that we consolidate and restate as:
I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it excluded certain testimony from a defense psychologist and when it admitted evidence from an Indiana State Police crime scene investigator concerning blood spatter;
II. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when, in sentencing Green, it gave no mitigating weight to her claims that she was a victim of domestic violence; and
III. Whether Green’s sixty-year sentence is inappropriate.
We affirm.
NFP civil decisions today (3):

Carl Johnson v. Corrections Officer Captain Blattner and Corrections Officer Schell (mem. dec.)

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of Ti.C., Tr.C., and Th.C. (Children) and D.C. (Mother) and R.C. (Father); D.C., and R.C. v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of M.J.P. & M.L.P. (Children) and S.M. (Mother); S.M. (Mother) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (6):

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

Marquis Lewins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jeremias Manriquez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Tommie Payne, IV v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Anthony LeFlore v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Javier A. Simental v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 16, 2016 12:54 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions