Settlement agreement could not form basis for contempt finding

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Judy Whitaker and John Davis (“Appellants”) appeal the trial court’s denial of their second verified petition for contempt against the Town of Cloverdale Town Council (“Town Council”). The Appellants raise two issues, which we consolidate and restate as whether the trial court abused its discretion by not holding the Town Council in contempt.

Conclusion (slip op. at 6): We affirm the trial court’s denial of the Appellant’s second verified petition for contempt.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 6): We interpret [the] order as simply granting the parties’ motion to dismiss with prejudice, and not as an order itself enjoining the Town Council from violating the Open Door Law. Moreover, the trial court did not incorporate the terms of the settlement agreement in its order . . . We cannot say that the March 20, 2007 order of dismissal clearly enjoins the Town Council from violating the Open Door Law or supports a finding of contempt in this case.

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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