Remanding case on issues of timeliness, severance of legal claims and demand for jury trial

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Gloria Murray et al. (“the Plaintiffs”) brought suit against the City of Lawrence (“the City”), the Lawrenceburg Conservancy District (“the Conservancy District”), and Indiana Gaming Company, L.P. (“Indiana Gaming”) (collectively “the Defendants”), claiming ownership of a certain portion of land being used by the Defendants. The Defendants filed a motion for a judgment on the pleadings, which the trial court denied. The trial court then denied the Plaintiffs’ demand for a jury trial. The Plaintiffs now bring this interlocutory appeal and claim that the trial court erred in denying their demand for a jury trial. The Defendants cross-appeal and claim that the trial court erred in denying their motion for judgment on the pleadings.

Conclusion (slip op. at 24): The Defendants’ cross-appeal is properly before us, as our earlier decision to decline to accept interlocutory jurisdiction is not final, and we now, under these limited facts and circumstances, choose to reconsider our earlier decision to decline jurisdiction over the Defendants’ appeal from the trial court’s certified interlocutory order. Considering the merits of the Defendants’ cross-appeal, we conclude that the Plaintiffs’ were not required to bring a claim for inverse condemnation, because inverse condemnation is not an exclusive remedy and because ownership of the Disputed Property has not yet been determined . . . Lastly, the essential features of the Plaintiffs lawsuit were not equitable, and the entire case is therefore not drawn into equity. On remand, the trial court should resolve the timeliness of the Plaintiffs’ claims; sever the timely-filed distinct, legal claims; and grant the Plaintiffs’ demand for a jury trial as to these claims.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

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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