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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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

For publication opinions today (2):

In Virginia E. Mourning v. Allison Transmission, Inc. , a 16-page opinion, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:

This case involves the interplay between Indiana Trial Rules 12(C) and 12(B). A Trial Rule 12(C) motion for judgment on the pleadings is typically directed toward a determination of the substantive merits of the controversy. A Trial Rule 12(B) motion to dismiss, in contrast, is directed solely toward procedural defects or the statement of the plaintiff’s claim for relief and does not seek to determine the substantive merits of the controversy. However, a defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted can be raised under either Trial Rule 12(B)(6) or Trial Rule 12(C). When raised in a Trial Rule 12(C) motion, the court must treat the motion pursuant to Trial Rule 12(B)(6) and, if granted, give the plaintiff ten days to amend the complaint once as of right.

Here, Virginia Mourning sued Allison Transmission, Inc. claiming that it played a role in getting her fired from her long-time employer, Ternes Packaging. Mourning alleged tortious interference with an employment contract and defamation. Allison Transmission then filed an ambiguously worded “12(C) Motion to Dismiss” alleging that Mourning “failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted” and that her claims failed “as a matter of law.” The trial court granted Allison Transmission’s motion and entered final judgment in its favor. Applying the above principles here, we find that Mourning sufficiently pled her defamation claim but not her tortious interference claim. We therefore reverse and remand this case to the trial court to give Mourning an opportunity to amend her complaint once as of right.

In Gary Hanks v. State of Indiana, a 22-page opinion, Judges Mathias writes:
Gary Hanks (“Hanks”) pleaded guilty in Clark Circuit Court to one count of Class A felony child molesting. Hanks collaterally attacks his plea as the product of the ineffective assistance of his trial counsel and as not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made. Hanks’s petition for post-conviction relief on those grounds was denied by the court below.

When a defendant is deciding whether to expose himself to a sentencing judge’s absolute discretion, is local defense counsel constitutionally required to advise his client of the local judge’s sentencing practices in cases like his client’s? Because Hanks has not persuaded us that, as applied to the facts of his case, counsel was required to do so, we affirm as to the ineffective assistance claim. We remand for judgment on the voluntariness claim because it was raised but not resolved below.

NFP civil decisions today (7):

Larry W. Hollerbach and Jerri A. Hollerbach v. Kerri English and Steven English (mem. dec.)

Kimberly D. Hickman v. City of Austin (mem. dec.)

Daniel Hoagland v. Town of Clear Lake (mem. dec.)

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.Y. and G.Y. (Minor Children) and D.Y. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Co.S., E.S., Cl.S., P.S., and M.S. (minor children) and D.S. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

In re the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of S.N. (Minor Child) and J.F. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

In the Matter of: K.M. and D.M., (Minor Children) Children in Need of Services and L.H. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP juvenile and criminal decisions today (6):

Charmae L. Lesiewicz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Charlene Renier v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Maurice E. Hilliard v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Justice K. Kiama v. State of Indiana (mem.dec.)

Edward Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Terrell A. Dodd v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 15, 2017 12:37 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions