Law School Case Brief
Robins v. Harris - 769 N.E.2d 586 (Ind. 2002)
A petition for transfer, when granted, automatically vacates the opinion of the Court of Appeals of Indiana pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 58(A).
Plaintiff Tammy Robins filed a lawsuit in Indiana state court against defendants Sheriff William Harris ("Sheriff"), County Commissioners C. Joseph Anderson, James Diehl and Bill Decker ("Commissioners") and defendant Deputy Sheriff Michael Soules. Robins sought damages, alleging that Soules sexually assaulted her while she was an inmate at a county Jail. The trial court granted summary judgment for the Sheriff and the Commissioners. On appeal, the court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Commissioners, but reversed summary judgment for the Sheriff and directed the entry of partial summary judgment for Robins, holding that the Sheriff was liable for the assault committed by Soules against Robins and that the Commissioners were not liable for Robin's alleged injuries. Robbins appealed; the Sheriff petitioned for transfer, which the state supreme court granted for the purpose of addressing the issue of consent as a defense. About six months later, the Sheriff and the Commissioners filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, reporting that the parties had entered into a settlement agreement, terminating the litigation. The attorneys for Robins and Soules authorized the dismissal pursuant to settlement.
Should the appeal be dismissed?
The court held that having previously granted transfer for the purpose of addressing the issue of consent as a defense, thereby vacating the opinion of the appellate court and transferring jurisdiction of the appeal, the state supreme court summarily affirmed the original and rehearing opinions of the appellate court except as to the availability of consent as a defense to the claim of battery, and granted the motion to dismiss the appeal.
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