from the Jennings Superior Court The Honorable Roger L.
Duvall, Special Judge Trial Court Cause No. 40D01-1705-PL-67
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Ann C. Coriden Coriden Glover, LLC
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Frances Barrow Deputy Attorney General
ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE Kevin D.
Koons Jennifer L. Watt Kroger, Gardis & Regas, LLP
of the Case
Cathy Jo Robertson appeals the trial court's denial of
her Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss a complaint
to recover public funds filed by the Office of the Indiana
Attorney General ("OAG"), which alleged that
Robertson had diverted public funds from Jennings County for
her personal gain during her tenure as a bookkeeper for the
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jennings County ("the
Clerk's Office"). Robertson raises one issue for our
review, namely, whether the trial court erred when it denied
her motion to dismiss the OAG's complaint on the ground
that the complaint had been filed outside the two-year
statute of limitations. Because we hold that the two-year
limitations period did not begin to run until after the OAG
received the final, verified report of the Indiana State
Board of Accounts ("SBOA"), and because the
OAG's complaint against Robertson was filed within two
years of the OAG having received the final report, we affirm
the trial court's denial of Robertson's motion to
and Procedural History
In 2014, the SBOA conducted a special investigation of the
records of the Clerk's Office. The SBOA's
investigation was limited to a review of records associated
with the deposit of funds from January 1, 2009, through April
8, 2011, during which time Robertson was a bookkeeper for the
Clerk's Office. As a result of the investigation, the
SBOA compiled a report in which it stated that Robertson had
diverted $61, 393.73 from the county using a "checks
substituted for cash" scheme. Appellant's App. Vol.
II at 29.
On December 10, 2014, the SBOA discussed the report with
Robertson. The next day, the SBOA requested that Robertson
refund the money to the county. On December 11, the SBOA sent
a letter to Jennings County officials and included the report
with the letter. In the letter, the SBOA stated that it had
also forwarded a preliminary, unverified report "to the
office of the Indiana Attorney General and the local
Prosecuting Attorney." Id. at 28. That letter
provided that the "Official Response to this report has
not been examined or verified for its accuracy."
Id. Thereafter, SBOA investigators verified the
report on January 21, 2016. On January 22, the SBOA published
the signed and verified report and placed a copy of the final
report with the OAG.
Based on the results of the special investigation, the OAG
filed a complaint to recover public funds against Robertson
on May 5, 2017, pursuant to Indiana Code Section 5-11-5-1. In
Counts I and II of the complaint, the OAG alleged that
Robertson had misappropriated public funds in the amount of
$61, 393.73.In Count III, the OAG sought treble damages
pursuant to the Crime Victim Relief Act ("CVRA") in
the amount of $184, 181.19. The OAG included a copy of the
SBOA's published verified report as an exhibit to its
Thereafter, Robertson filed a motion to dismiss the OAG's
complaint pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6). In her
motion to dismiss, Robertson asserted that the OAG's
complaint was subject to a two-year statute of limitations
and that the OAG had not timely filed its complaint.
Specifically, Robertson asserted that the OAG's claim had
accrued between January 1, 2009, and April 8, 2011, as that
was the time period during which she was employed as a
bookkeeper for the Clerk's Office. In the alternative,
Robertson argued that, even if the statute of limitations did
not begin to run until the OAG had discovered the alleged
loss of funds, the OAG's complaint was still time barred
because the OAG had actual notice of her alleged offenses
when the SBOA had placed its unverified report with the OAG
on December 11, 2014.
Following a hearing, the trial court determined that the
plain language of Indiana Code Section 5-11-5-1 provided that
"the statute of limitations during which the Office of
the Indiana Attorney General could institute an action for
the recovery of monies commenced on January 22, 2016,"
when the SBOA placed its verified report with the OAG.
Id. at 14. The trial court concluded that the OAG
had filed its complaint within two ...