In re Unsupervised Estate of Cary A. Owsley
Mark E. Gorbett, et al., Appellees. Logan A. Owsley, Appellant,
from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Steven R.
Eichholtz, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49D08-1602-EU-7407
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Trent A. McCain McCain Law Offices,
P.C. Merrillville, Indiana Curtis E. Shirley Law Office of
Curtis E. Shirley Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES Elizabeth A. Knight Joseph W. Smith
Knight, Hoppe, Kurnik & Knight, Ltd. Schererville,
Logan A. Owsley appeals the Marion Superior Court's
dismissal of his verified petition to open estate and the
denial of his motion to correct error. Logan raises one issue
which we revise and restate as whether the trial court abused
its discretion in dismissing the estate proceeding. We
and Procedural History
On April 7, 2013, Cary Owsley died from a gunshot wound. In
June 2014, the Bartholomew Circuit Court appointed Lisa
Owsley as personal representative of the estate of Cary
Owsley (the "Estate") under cause number
03C01-1406-ES-2796 ("Cause No. 2796"). In March
2015, Cheryl Owsley Jackson filed a verified petition under
Cause No. 2796 to remove Lisa as personal representative or
to appoint a special administrator. In April 2015, an
attorney filed an appearance on behalf of Logan, Cary's
son, and a memo in support of petitions. On April 7, 2015,
the court entered an order denying Jackson's petition and
stating that Logan "has no matters pending before this
Court and so this Court is not providing any affirmative or
negative relief concerning Logan." Appellant's
Appendix Volume II at 48.
On April 7, 2015, Logan filed a complaint in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
under cause number 1:15-cv-00552-RLY-MJD (the "federal
lawsuit") against Mark Gorbett, in his individual and
official capacities as Sheriff of Bartholomew County; Ernest
DeWayne Janes, Sr., Dean Johnson, Christie Nunemaker, Brent
Worman, William Kinman, Jr., and Christopher Roberts in their
individual and official capacities as Bartholomew County
Sheriff's Deputies; and Larry Fisher, in his individual
and official capacities as Bartholomew County Coroner. Logan
alleged a "[b]otched [i]nvestigation" and a
cover-up and brought the following claims: Count I,
obstruction of justice; Count II, conspiracy to obstruct
justice based on invidious discrimination; Count III, failure
to intervene; Count IV, access to courts, right to seek
remedy; Count V, intentional infliction of emotional
distress; and Count VI, negligent infliction of emotional
distress. Id. at 116.
On July 10, 2015, the defendants in the federal lawsuit filed
a motion to dismiss Logan's complaint and asserted that
Logan lacked standing to bring any causes of action and that
he failed to state claims on which relief could be granted.
Meanwhile, in May 2015, Logan filed petitions to require a
final accounting, to remove the personal representative, to
distribute abandoned property, and for appointment of a
special administrator in Cause No. 2796. On February 16,
2016, the Bartholomew Circuit Court entered an order granting
Logan's petition to distribute property and denying the
petitions filed by Logan to remove the executor and appoint a
special administrator. The court approved the final
accounting as testified to at a prior hearing. The
court's order also states:
Whatever interest the Estate of Cary A. Owsley has in the
federal lawsuit, the Court ASSIGNS such interest to Logan
Owsley. He alone shall inherit and otherwise receive any
benefit, proceeds, or relief afforded in the litigation
pending in federal court.
There being no further issue before the Court, the Court
DISCHARGES the personal representative and directs the Clerk
to close this estate. Any surety is released.
Pursuant to trial rule 54(B) the Court finds no just reason
for delay and enters this as a final, appealable order on all
Id. at 131.
On February 29, 2016, Logan filed a Verified Petition to Open
Estate for Limited Purpose and for Unsupervised
Administration under cause number 49D08-1602-EU-7407
("Cause No. 7407") in the Marion Superior Court.
Logan requested to be appointed as the personal
representative of the Estate for the sole purpose of managing
and resolving the federal lawsuit.
That same day, the Marion Superior Court entered an order in
Cause No. 7407 stating that the property at issue for the
Estate in this matter belongs solely to Logan. The court
stated that it had jurisdiction over this matter because the
Estate property which remained for administration was the
federal lawsuit located in Indianapolis. It appointed Logan
as the ...