Chuck W. Adams, Charles E. Howard, et al., Appellants (Plaintiffs below),
ArvinMeritor, Inc., et al., Appellees (Defendants below).
from the Marion Superior Court, No. 49D14-1206-PL-025688 The
Honorable James B. Osborn, Judge.
Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No.
APPELLANTS PRO SE Chuck W. Adams Bunker Hill, Indiana,
Charles E. Howard Morgantown, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR AMICI CURIAE MICHAEL KINCADE, ANTONIO COLLIER,
AND DAVID MARZINI Robert S. Rifkin Clinton E. Blanck Maurer
Rifkin, P.C. Carmel, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR ARVINMERITOR, INC., ET AL. Brian L. McDermott
Christopher C. Murray Ebony A. Reid Ogletree Deakins Nash
Smoak & Stewart P.C. Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR STATE OF INDIANA, ET AL. Gregory F. Zoeller
Attorney General of Indiana Frances Barrow Deputy Attorney
General Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR CORIZON, INC., ET AL. Jeb A. Crandall Bleeke
Dillon Crandall Rachel A. East Indianapolis, Indiana.
Chuck Adams and Charles Howard were inmates at the Indiana
Department of Correction ("DOC") Correctional
Industrial Facility ("CIF"), they worked at a
privately-owned brake shop operated by Meritor Heavy Vehicle
Systems, LLC on the premises of CIF. Indiana Code chapter
11-10-7 permits the DOC commissioner to enter agreements with
private enterprises to establish "facilities within the
exterior boundary of any state adult correctional facility,
for the manufacturing and processing of goods or any other
business, commercial, or agricultural enterprise." Ind.
Code § 11-10-7-2.
and Howard filed a complaint alleging among other things that
they are owed unpaid wages because they were not paid the
"prevailing wage" for their work. Indiana Code
section 11-10-7-3 provides that "an offender employed by
a private person under this chapter will be paid at least the
prevailing wage for that type of work . . . including
applicable wage increases for overtime work." Meritor
Heavy Vehicle Systems and all its related companies,
officers, and employees named as defendants (collectively
"Meritor defendants"), and the State
defendants filed motions to dismiss the wage claims,
arguing in part that Indiana Code chapter 11-10-7 does not
create a private right of action. The trial court granted the
motions and dismissed the claims.
majority of the Court of Appeals reversed, concluding Adams
and Howard have a private right of action under section
11-10-7-4, which provides that an enterprise operating under
chapter 11-10-7 "is a private enterprise subject to laws
governing the operation of similar enterprises in
Indiana." Adams v. ArvinMeritor, Inc., 48
N.E.3d 1, 8-9 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015), aff'd on reh'g
by, 53 N.E.3d 1182 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016). The majority
noted that private enterprises are subject to the Wage
Payment Statute, which allows an employee to file an action
in court to collect unpaid wages. See I.C. §
22-2-5-2. And the majority concluded Adams and Howard may
pursue their wage claims. Adams, 48 N.E.3d at
Judge May dissented on this issue, concluding the trial court
properly dismissed the wage claims because Indiana Code
section 11-10-7-4 did not explicitly create a private right
of action for offenders to pursue wage claims. Id.
at 16, and 53 N.E.3d at 1184 (May, J., dissenting in part).
The Meritor defendants seek transfer.
agree with Judge May. We grant transfer, adopt and
incorporate by reference the dissent's original and
rehearing opinions addressing the wage claims, see
Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A)(1), and affirm the trial
court's dismissal of these claims. We summarily affirm
those parts of the Court of Appeals opinions addressing
Adams's other claims. See App. R. 58(A)(2).