Thomas P. Donovan, Appellant-Plaintiff,
Hoosier Park, LLC d/b/a Hoosier Park, Racing & Casino, Centaur, Inc., Hoosier Park, L.P., Centaur Holdings, LLC, and Terrance Sollars, Jeremy Hosier, in his capacity as an employee of the Indiana Gaming Commission, Zach Wilkinson, in his capacity as an employee of the Indiana Gaming Commission, and Indiana Gaming Commission, Appellees-Defendants
from the Madison Circuit Court The Honorable Angela Sims,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 48C01-1212-PL-204
Attorneys for Appellant Laura B. Conway Mark W. Rutherford
Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel, PC
Attorneys for Appellee, State of Indiana Curtis T. Hill
Attorney General of Indiana Kyle Hunter Deputy Attorney
General Attorneys for Appellee, Hoosier Park, et al
E. Andres Charles J. Maiers Due Doyle Fanning & Alderfer,
Thomas P. Donovan appeals the trial court's entry of
summary judgment in favor of Hoosier Park, LLC d/b/a Hoosier
Park, Racing & Casino, Centaur, Inc., Hoosier Park, L.P.
and Centaur Holdings, LLC ("Hoosier Park"), and
Terrance Sollars (collectively, "Hoosier Park
Appellees"); Jeremy Hosier, in his capacity as an
employee of the Indiana Gaming Commission, Zach Wilkinson, in
his capacity as an employee of the Indiana Gaming Commission,
and the Indiana Gaming Commission ("IGC")
(collectively, "IGC Appellees") on his allegations
of (1) false imprisonment, (2) wrongful arrest, (3) malicious
prosecution, (4) abuse of process, and (5) battery. We
and Procedural History
Since 1999, Donovan has been making money at casinos by
gambling as an "advantage player." (Appellant's
App. Vol. III at 13.) According to Donovan, "an advantage
player plays games at casinos . . . by counting cards in
blackjack or playing video poker games that are a near a
[sic] 100 percent return." (Id.) In this time,
Donovan has also been banned from a number
On July 19, 2011, Hoosier Park sent Donovan a letter
("the July 19 letter") via certified mail informing
him he was banned from Hoosier Park Racing & Casino,
located in Anderson, Indiana, and its "Off-Track Betting
facilities located in Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, and
Merrillville, Indiana (Premises)." (Appellant's App.
Vol. II at 35.) Hoosier Park mailed the July 19 letter to
Donovan's address on file, however the address on the
letter and envelope contained a typo, addressing it to
"Thomas T. Donovan, " (id.), rather than
Thomas P. Donovan. The July 19 letter notified Donovan he
"may not return at any time to the Premises during the
period of [his] ejection[, ]" (id.), and would
be "considered a trespasser and subject to arrest"
if he returned during that time. (Id.) Hoosier Park
indicated the earliest Donovan would be eligible to apply for
readmission was July 19, 2013, under the following
(a) You are not a threat to the safety of Hoosier Park Racing
& Casino customers, yourself, employees and agents of
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Indiana Gaming
Commission and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission;
(b) You will gamble responsibly;
(c) You will not abuse drugs or alcohol while on the
(d) You will not cheat at a gambling game;
(e) You will not behave in a disruptive manner;
(f) You will not steal;
(g) You are not indebted to Hoosier Park Racing.
(Id.) The last sentence of the July 19 letter
indicated Hoosier Park "regret[ted] the necessity to ban
[Donovan] from the Premises, but believed such an action to
be necessary and in the best interests of Hoosier Park Racing
& Casino and its patrons." (Id.) Donovan
received the July 19 letter on July 21, 2011, and signed the
certified mail receipt.
Donovan returned to Hoosier Park on July 22, 2011 and July
29, 2011. His presence went unnoticed both times by Hoosier
Park's security team because he gambled using a
"Player's Club" card belonging to two other
patrons, Jennifer Harker and Donald Harker, who were
acquaintances of Donovan. After these two occasions, Hoosier
Park's security team realized Donovan had been visiting
Hoosier Park and was using the Harkers' Player's Club
card to conceal his identity. Thus, the security team set an
alert to trigger an alarm if the Harkers' Player's
Club card was used again at the Casino.
On August 5, 2011, Donovan returned to Hoosier Park and used
the Harkers' Player's Club card at a slot machine.
His use of the card triggered the security alert, and the
security team closely examined surveillance footage to
confirm Donovan was indeed the person at the slot machine.
Security called the IGC Squad Office on site, and informed
IGC Agent Zach Wilkinson that Donovan, an "evicted
patron, " (id. at 98), was on the property and
was currently playing at a slot machine. Agent Wilkinson
alerted IGC Agent Jeremy Hosier, who was also on duty.
Darlene Blevins, a Security Shift Supervisor at the casino,
proceeded to the area of the casino where Donovan was playing
the slot machines. Blevins approached Donovan, showed him a
copy of the July 19 letter, reminded him he was banned from
the premises, and told him he must leave immediately. Donovan
signed the copy of the letter and began walking away. Agent
Hosier then made his way down to the area of the casino where
Donovan was. Agent Hosier briefly spoke about the situation
with Blevins and Terrance Sollars, a Security Shift Manager
at Hoosier Park.
Donovan went to a counter to redeem some tickets for cash and
then began walking toward an exit of the casino. Agent
Hosier, Agent Wilkinson, Blevins, and Sollars followed him.
Agent Hosier approached Donovan and asked to speak with him
about his trespassing, but Donovan said "[he] was
leaving, [he] had the right to leave, " (Appellant's
Prior Cause App. Vol. 2 at 408), and continued walking
quickly toward the exit. Agent Hosier attempted to explain to
Donovan he could not leave until he spoke with him about the
trespassing crime he had just committed.
Donovan took an escalator and Agent Hosier took the stairs to
catch up with Donovan. At the top of the escalator, Agent
Hosier again asked Donovan to stop and asked for his
identification. Donovan kept walking and ignored Agent Hosier
as Agent Hosier walked alongside him. Agent Hosier then moved
quickly to step in front of Donovan, told him to stop, and
blocked him from exiting the doors of the casino. Donovan
became loud and would not engage in a civil conversation with
Agent Hosier. Agent Hosier informed Donovan he was being
arrested for trespass and disorderly conduct. Agent Hosier
began to handcuff Donovan, but Donovan resisted. Agent
Wilkinson attempted to stabilize Donovan so Agent Hosier
could handcuff him, but both agents were having trouble
getting Donovan's arms behind his back. Blevins and
Sollars then also aided in controlling Donovan so Donovan
could be handcuffed. Donovan resisted so much he was
eventually brought down to the ground by the IGC Agents and
Hoosier Park's security employees. During the struggle to
handcuff Donovan, Donovan knocked down a lamp and a
decorative tree, spilled a fountain drink, and lost a shoe.
Agent Wilkinson and Agent Hosier escorted Donovan to the IGC
Squad Office. Agent Hosier filed a probable cause affidavit
for arrest, describing the events and noting Donovan admitted
to Blevins he was aware of the July 19 letter as he had
"given the eviction notice to his lawyer."
(Id. at 99.) Sollars called the Anderson Police
Department, who transported Donovan to jail.
The State charged Donovan with Count I: Class A misdemeanor
resisting law enforcement,  Count II: Class A misdemeanor
criminal trespass,  and Count III: Class B misdemeanor
disorderly conduct. In August 2012, the State dismissed Counts
I and II and entered into a pretrial diversion agreement with
Donovan regarding Count III.
On December 27, 2012, Donovan sued Hoosier Park Appellees and
IGC Appellees alleging false imprisonment, wrongful arrest,
malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and battery. Both
Hoosier Park Appellees and IGC Appellees moved for summary
judgment on all claims. The court held a hearing on all
defendants' motions for summary judgment on May 6, 2015.
On September 25, 2015, the court entered summary judgment in
favor of all defendants on all claims. The trial court found
Donovan waived all state law claims against the IGC Appellees
by failing to provide the IGC Appellees timely notice within
270 days of the "loss, " as required by the Indiana
Tort Claims Act ("ITCA"). Ind. Code §
On October 20, 2015, Donovan filed a Motion to Correct Error.
On October 23, 2015, the IGC Appellees filed a Motion to
Correct Error, claiming the trial court erred in finding
Donovan failed to timely file a notice of state tort claim.
On November 30, 2015, the trial court granted the IGC
Appellees' Motion to Correct Error, vacating the portion
of its summary judgment order addressing the state tort
claims against the IGC Appellees, and stating it would review
the state tort claims against the IGC Appellees and issue a
subsequent order on the merits of those issues. The trial
court also denied Donovan's Motion to Correct Error.
Before the trial court issued its subsequent order on the
remaining issues, Donovan filed a Notice of Appeal with this
Court. The IGC Appellees filed a motion to remand to the
trial court for resolution of the remaining state tort
claims. On June 24, 2016, this Court granted the IGC
Appellees' motion. On July 7, 2016, the trial court
granted summary judgment in favor of the IGC Appellees as to
the remaining state tort claims.