Brown v. Indiana Department of Environmental ManagementAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court vacated a portion of the court of appeals opinion affirming the judgment of the trial court denying Appellant's petition for judicial review of the summary judgment granted by the State Employees' Appeals Commission (SEAC) against Appellant on his claim that his alleged protected activity was related to his termination, holding that the court of appeals reached too broad a conclusion to resolve the issue in this case.
Appellant appealed his termination, claiming he was a protected whistleblower. SEAC dismissed the complaint, but the superior court reversed. On remand, SEAC granted summary judgment in favor of Appellant's employer. Appellant sought judicial review, claiming that most of his employer's arguments were barred by the law-of-the-case doctrine. The trial court denied the petition, concluding that the law-of-the-case doctrine did not apply. The court of appeals affirmed, agreeing that the law-of-the-case doctrine did not apply but going further to find that the law-of-the-case doctrine "is applicable only when an appellate court determines a legal issue, not a trial court." The Supreme Court vacated that portion of the court of appeals' opinion and otherwise affirmed, holding that the court of appeals need not have reached so broad a conclusion to resolve the issue.