Hughley v. State, No. 49S04–1406–MI–386.

Docket NºNo. 49S04–1406–MI–386.
Citation15 N.E.3d 1000
Case DateSeptember 09, 2014
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

15 N.E.3d 1000

Antonio HUGHLEY, Appellant (Defendant)
v.
STATE of Indiana, The Consolidated City of Indianapolis/Marion County, and The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Appellee (Plaintiffs).

No. 49S04–1406–MI–386.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

Sept. 9, 2014.


15 N.E.3d 1002

Stephen Gerald Gray, Indianapolis, IN, Attorney for Appellant.

Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, Kyle Hunter, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.

Opinion

RUSH, Chief Justice.

Under Indiana Trial Rule 56, summary judgment is precluded by any “genuine” issue of material fact—that is, any issue requiring the trier of fact to resolve the parties' differing accounts of the truth. Merely resting on the pleadings will not permit the non-movant to raise such an issue, but a competent affidavit will. Here, Defendant's affidavit was self-serving and none too detailed—but it was competent, and it contradicted the State's designated evidence on a material fact. It was therefore sufficient to preclude summary judgment, regardless of whether Defendant would likely prevail at trial. We accordingly reverse the trial court.

Background

In August 2011, police were seeking a suspect who had led them on a car chase, crashed, and was last seen near Defendant's red 1977 Buick, which was parked in front of Defendant Antonio Hughley's home a few blocks from the crash. Police knocked on Defendant's door and obtained his consent to search for the suspect. The suspect wasn't there, but apparent cocaine residue and other indicia of cocaine dealing were in plain view on the kitchen table—leading to a search warrant and discovery of 550 grams of cocaine, plus further evidence of dealing. Police arrested Defendant, and a search incident to his arrest revealed $3,871 in cash, mostly $20s, in his front pocket. A jury convicted him of dealing cocaine and related offenses.

Thereafter, the State filed civil proceedings seeking forfeiture of Defendant's cash and car, alleging that both were proceeds of, or were meant to be used to facilitate, Defendant's dealing. After Defendant filed an answer, the State sought summary judgment, designating as evidence the probable-cause affidavits and judgment of conviction from the underlying criminal proceedings. In response, Defendant filed an affidavit denying that the cash was connected to his dealing. The perfunctory affidavit recited his competence to testify and then stated in full:

2. The U.S. currency seized from me during my arrest ... is not the proceeds from criminal activity nor was it intended for a violation of any criminal statute. I did not intend to use that money for anything other [than] legal activities.
3. Likewise, my 1977 Buick was never used to transport controlled substances and it is not the proceeds from any unlawful activity.

The trial court granted summary judgment to the State for forfeiture of the cash but denied it as to the Buick, and Defendant appealed. (The State has not challenged denial of summary judgment as to the car on appeal or on transfer.)

The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Defendant's affidavit raised no “specific facts” to controvert the State's evidence

15 N.E.3d 1003

but instead was only a “general denial”—the type on which a non-moving party may not rest by the terms of Indiana Trial Rule 56(E). Hughley v. State, No. 49A04–1307–MI–352, slip op. at 2, 2014 WL 684008 (Ind.Ct.App. Feb. 20, 2014). It thus reasoned that Defendant had failed to establish any genuine issue of material fact that would preclude summary judgment. Id. We granted transfer.

Standard of Review

We review summary judgment de novo, applying the same standard as the trial court: “Drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of ... the non-moving parties, summary judgment is appropriate ‘if the designated evidentiary matter shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.’ ” Williams v. Tharp, 914 N.E.2d 756, 761 (Ind.2009) (quoting T.R. 56(C) ). “A fact is ‘material’ if its resolution would affect the outcome of the case, and an issue is ‘genuine’ if a trier of fact is required to resolve the parties' differing accounts of the truth, or if the undisputed material facts support conflicting reasonable inferences.” Id. (internal citations omitted).

The initial burden is on the summary-judgment movant to “demonstrate [ ] the absence of any genuine issue of fact as to a determinative issue,” at which point the burden shifts to the non-movant to “come forward with contrary evidence” showing an issue for the trier of fact. Id. at 761–62 (internal quotation marks and substitution omitted). And “[a]lthough the non-moving party has the burden on appeal of persuading us that the grant of summary judgment was erroneous, we carefully assess the trial court's decision to ensure that he was not improperly denied his day in court.” McSwane v. Bloomington Hosp. & Healthcare Sys., 916 N.E.2d 906, 909–10 (Ind.2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).

Discussion and Decision

I. Indiana's Summary Judgment Policies Aim to Protect a Party's Day in Court.

Even though Indiana Trial Rule 56 is nearly identical to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, we have long recognized that “Indiana's summary judgment procedure ... diverges from federal summary judgment practice.” Jarboe v. Landmark Cmty. Newspapers of Ind., Inc., 644 N.E.2d 118, 123 (Ind.1994). In particular, while federal practice permits the moving party to merely show that the party carrying the burden of proof lacks...

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472 practice notes
  • Melton v. Ind. Athletic Trainers Bd., Court of Appeals Case No. 19A-CT-1972
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 14, 2020
    ...differing accounts of the truth, or if the undisputed material facts support conflicting reasonable inferences." Hughley v. State , 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1003 (Ind. 2014). The moving party bears the initial burden of showing the absence of any genuine issue of material fact as to a determinative ......
  • Cox v. Evansville Police Dep't, Supreme Court Case No. 18S-CT-447
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 13, 2018
    ...244, 252–53 (Ind. 1989). We review summary judgment and these questions of law de novo. See Ind. Trial Rule 56(C) ; Hughley v. State , 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1003 (Ind. 2014) ; Ballard v. Lewis , 8 N.E.3d 190, 193 (Ind. 2014).Discussion and DecisionIn their claims against the cities, each woman as......
  • Mann v. Arnos, Court of Appeals Case No. 21A-CT-1634
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 21, 2022
    ...Ct. App. 2017) ; Ind. Trial Rule 56(C). Summary judgment is a "high bar" for the moving party to clear in Indiana. Hughley v. State , 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1004 (Ind. 2014). If "the moving party satisfies this burden through evidence designated to the trial court, the non-moving party may not res......
  • Convention Headquarters Hotels, LLC v. Marion Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 19T-TA-00021
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • August 5, 2021
    ...differing accounts of the truth, or if the undisputed material facts support conflicting reasonable inferences." Hughley v. State, 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1003 (Ind. 2014).LAW AND ANALYSIS All real property in Indiana is subject to assessment and taxation on the statutorily prescribed assessment da......
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471 cases
  • Melton v. Ind. Athletic Trainers Bd., Court of Appeals Case No. 19A-CT-1972
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 14, 2020
    ...differing accounts of the truth, or if the undisputed material facts support conflicting reasonable inferences." Hughley v. State , 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1003 (Ind. 2014). The moving party bears the initial burden of showing the absence of any genuine issue of material fact as to a determinative ......
  • Cox v. Evansville Police Dep't, Supreme Court Case No. 18S-CT-447
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 13, 2018
    ...244, 252–53 (Ind. 1989). We review summary judgment and these questions of law de novo. See Ind. Trial Rule 56(C) ; Hughley v. State , 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1003 (Ind. 2014) ; Ballard v. Lewis , 8 N.E.3d 190, 193 (Ind. 2014).Discussion and DecisionIn their claims against the cities, each woman as......
  • Mann v. Arnos, Court of Appeals Case No. 21A-CT-1634
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 21, 2022
    ...Ct. App. 2017) ; Ind. Trial Rule 56(C). Summary judgment is a "high bar" for the moving party to clear in Indiana. Hughley v. State , 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1004 (Ind. 2014). If "the moving party satisfies this burden through evidence designated to the trial court, the non-moving party may not res......
  • Convention Headquarters Hotels, LLC v. Marion Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 19T-TA-00021
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • August 5, 2021
    ...differing accounts of the truth, or if the undisputed material facts support conflicting reasonable inferences." Hughley v. State, 15 N.E.3d 1000, 1003 (Ind. 2014).LAW AND ANALYSIS All real property in Indiana is subject to assessment and taxation on the statutorily prescribed assessment da......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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