Wayne Handshoe v. Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (mem. dec.)


MEMORANDUM DECISION Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be FILED regarded as precedent or cited before any Dec 29 2020, 9:10 am court except for the purpose of establishing CLERK the defense of res judicata, collateral Indiana Supreme Court Court of Appeals and Tax Court estoppel, or the law of the case. ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Bruce N. Munson Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Law Office of Bruce N. Munson, P.C. Attorney General of Indiana Muncie, Indiana Natalie F. Weiss Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA Wayne Handshoe, December 29, 2020 Appellant-Respondent, Court of Appeals Case No. 20A-PL-200 v. Appeal from the Delaware Circuit Court Commissioner of the Indiana The Honorable Linda Ralu Wolf, Department of Environmental Judge Management, Trial Court Cause No. Appellee-Petitioner, 18C03-1503-PL-6 Robb, Judge. Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 20A-PL-200 | December 29, 2020 Page 1 of 10 Case Summary and Issue [1] In 2015, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”) brought an action against Wayne Handshoe to compel Handshoe to clean up and remediate a site where Handshoe operates an auto salvage business. In 2016, the parties entered into an agreed judgment which stipulated, in part, that Handshoe pay a $10,250 civil penalty and complete and submit a site assessment plan (“SAP”) to IDEM within thirty days of the agreed judgment. Because Handshoe had yet to pay any of the civil penalty or submit the SAP by mid-2019, he was found in contempt on November 8, 2019, and ordered to be incarcerated for seven days unless he paid the entire civil penalty of $10,250 by December 31, 2019. [2] Handshoe now appeals, raising two issues which we restate as: (1) whether the trial court erred by finding him in contempt for failure to pay the civil penalty; and (2) whether the trial court’s order that Handshoe be incarcerated unless he paid the civil penalty was punitive or coercive. We conclude that the trial court erred by finding Handshoe in contempt for failure to pay the civil penalty because money judgments are not enforceable by contempt. Also, we conclude that although Handshoe was in contempt for failure to submit the SAP, the trial court’s sanction was punitive rather than coercive and thus impermissible. Accordingly, we reverse the order of contempt in part and remand with instructions for the trial court to impose a contempt sanction consistent with this opinion. Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 20A-PL-200 | December 29, 2020 Page 2 of 10 Facts and Procedural History [3] Handshoe owns Westside Auto Parts, an automobile parts salvage business, on property in Muncie that he purchased in 2002. Prior to Handshoe owning the property it was used as an automobile recycling center. Handshoe currently uses the property to sell tires and store cars which will be salvaged. Handshoe testified that he currently has cars on the property that can be crushed and tires that can be sold and that …

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