About this Event
While driving in Hancock County, Kailee Leonard accidentally hit and killed DNR Officer Scott Johnson’s dog. The State charged Leonard with failing to stop after damaging property, but the State voluntarily dismissed its case. Leonard filed a Section 1983 claim against Johnson in federal court alleging Johnson lied to the investigator, resulting in Leonard’s false arrest. A jury returned a verdict in Leonard’s favor. Johnson assigned his right to indemnification to Leonard, who sued the State. The trial court ruled Johnson lied to the investigator, but still found the State was required to indemnify Johnson. The State appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed. State of Indiana, by and through DNR v. Smith, 202 N.E.3d 1105 (Ind. Ct. App. 2023). Leonard petitioned the Indiana Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the appeal.
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