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Maraman v. City of Carmel

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 11, 2015

Jason J. Maraman, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
City of Carmel, Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

          Appeal from the Hamilton Superior Court. The Honorable Wayne Sturtevant, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 29D05-1410-OV-8818.

         Jason J. Maraman, APPELLANT, Pro se, Indianapolis, Indiana.

         ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: Ashley M. Ulbricht, Carmel Assistant City Attorney, Carmel, Indiana.

         May, Judge. Crone, J., and Bradford, J., concur.

          OPINION

         May, Judge.

         [¶1] Jason Maraman challenges his citation for speeding. As the Carmel city ordinance under which Maraman was ticketed was void, the trial court should have granted Maraman's motion to dismiss. We must accordingly reverse.[1]

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] Maraman was stopped for speeding in Carmel. The complaint and summons issued to Maraman indicated he was driving 30 miles per hour when the speed limit was 20,[2] " [c]ontrary to the form of the . . . Local Ordinance in such case made and provided. L.O. No. 8-2." [3] (Appellant's App. at 10.) The Carmel City Court entered judgment against him and he asked for a trial de novo.

         [¶3] When the cause was moved before the trial court, Maraman filed a motion to dismiss that alleged, in pertinent part:

Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted
12. The complaint in the above captioned matter alleged Defendant violated Carmel City Ordinance 8-2 which states:
Unless otherwise provided herein, the provisions set forth in I.C.,[sic] 9-21-1-1 through 9-21-20-3 (Traffic Regulations) are adopted by reference and made a part of this chapter with the same force and effect as though set forth here verbatim. (Carmel City Ordinance 8-2)
13. The powers granted to and specifically withheld from a city are governed by I.C. 36-1-3, commonly referred to as the Home Rule Act.
14. The power to prescribe a penalty for conduct constituting a crime or infraction under statute is a power which is specifically withheld pursuant to I.C. 36-1-3-8(a)(8).
15. Carmel City Ordinance 8-2 simply incorporates by reference the portion of Indiana Code which defines motor vehicle infractions. Therefore, the ordinance is a prima facie violation of I.C. 36-1-3-8(a)(8) rendering the ordinance null and void. As such, the ordinance is unenforceable and fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Thus the complaint should be dismissed.

(Appellant's App. at 16) (header bolded in original).

         [¶4] The trial court denied Maraman's motion to dismiss. Thereafter, the court found Maraman " did commit . . . the infraction of Speeding under Carmel City Code 8-2," ( id. at 5) ...


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