Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

City of Evansville v. Magenheimer

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 13, 2017

City of Evansville and The Evansville Department of Parks and Recreation, Appellants-Defendants,
v.
Benjamin A. Magenheimer, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Vanderburgh Circuit Court The Honorable Carl A. Heldt, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 82C01-1109-PL-476

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS Keith W. Vonderahe Robert L. Burkart Ziemer Stayman Weitzel & Shoulders, LLP Evansville, Indiana

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE Guy A. Relford The Law Offices of Guy A. Relford Carmel, Indiana

          Najam, Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] The City of Evansville and the Evansville Department of Parks and Recreation ("the City") bring this interlocutory appeal from the trial court's denial of their motion for summary judgment on a complaint filed by Benjamin A. Magenheimer. This is the City's second interlocutory appeal in this matter. See City of Evansville v. Magenheimer, 37 N.E.3d 965 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015), trans. denied ("Magenheimer I"). In the instant appeal, the City contends that there is no genuine issue of material fact that would support a private right of action under the Indiana firearm preemption statutes, Indiana Code Chapter 35-47-11.1. But we believe the dispositive issue is whether the law of the case doctrine precludes our review of the City's arguments in this appeal. We hold that it does, and, as such, we affirm the trial court's denial of summary judgment.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] The facts relevant to this appeal were stated by this court in Magenheimer I:

On September 10, 2011, Magenheimer visited the Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Garden, a city park, with his wife and son. While at the park, Magenheimer was openly carrying a firearm. Magenheimer was licensed to carry this firearm and had a copy of the license in his possession. At the time, the Evansville municipal code contained a provision prohibiting firearms in city parks. An employee of the park spotted Magenheimer carrying the firearm and called the police. The police arrived and ordered Magenheimer to leave the park.
Magenheimer filed an initial complaint on September 16, 2011, and an amended complaint a few days later. Magenheimer's complaint alleged that Evansville had violated Indiana Code chapter 35-47-11.1, which generally bars political subdivisions from regulating firearms. Magenheimer filed his complaint pursuant to a provision that gives individuals a private right of action to enforce the statute. Magenheimer's request for relief tracked the language of the statute, which allows successful plaintiffs to recover either actual and consequential damages or liquidated damages of treble attorney fees.

Id. at 966-67. The City sought a judgment on the pleadings of Magenheimer's complaint, which the trial court denied.

         [¶3] On interlocutory appeal in Magenheimer I, we discussed the law and facts underlying Magenheimer's complaint as follows:

I. Indiana Code Chapter 35-47-11.1
It is the general policy of this state that local governments shall be granted all powers "necessary or desirable in the conduct of [their] affairs." Ind. Code § 36-1-3-4. However, local governments only retain a power "to the extent that the power is not expressly denied by the Indiana Constitution or by statute." I.C. § 36-1-3-5. In 2011, our legislature determined that the public interest would be best served by denying local governments the power to regulate firearms. Indiana Code chapter 35-47-11.1 was passed to effectuate this new policy. It provides that, subject to certain exceptions:
[A] political subdivision may not regulate:
(1) firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories;
(2) the ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, registration, transfer, and storage of firearms, ammunition, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.