ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
David C. Kolbe Steve Carter
Warsaw, Indiana Attorney General of Indiana
David L. Steiner
Deputy Attorney General of Indiana
SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA
INDIANA STATE POLICE,
Supreme Court Cause No.
Court of Appeals Cause No.
APPEAL FROM THE MARSHALL SUPERIOR COURT
The Honorable Robert O. Bowen, Judge
Cause No. 50D01-0105-MI-9
ON PETITION TO TRANSFER
June 2, 2004
Indiana State Trooper Ben Endres (Endres) refused to accept an assignment as a
gaming agent at a riverboat casino, asserting that the assignment would conflict
with his religious convictions. The Indiana State Police ("State Police") then terminated
his employment, and the Indiana State Police Board (Police Board) upheld the termination.
Endres filed a civil action in federal district court against the State Police,
asserting, among other things, that his termination violated Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e,
This case reached the United States Circuit Court for the Seventh Circuit, which
determined, among other things, that Endres failed to state a claim under Title
VII. See Endres v. Indiana State Police, 334 F.3d 618 (7th Cir.2003),
rehg denied with opinion, 349 F.3d 922 (7th Cir. 2003), cert. denied.
Meanwhile, Endres also sought judicial review of the Police Boards decision in the
Marshall Superior Court, which upheld Endress termination. Endres appealed, and the Indiana
Court of Appeals affirmed.
See Endres v. Indiana State Police, 794 N.E.2d
1089 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003). In doing so, the Court of Appeals
first concluded that the disposition of his federal action precluded Endres from relitigating
his Title VII claim in this state court action. See id. at 1093-94.
The Court of Appeals also concluded that his employment termination did not
violate his State constitutional right to religious freedom. See id. at 1094-97.
Endres has petitioned this Court to grant transfer of jurisdiction from the
Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. See Ind. Appellate Rule 57.
We now grant transfer and assume jurisdiction over this appeal. See
Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A),
With regard to the Title VII claim, we agree with the Court of
Appeals that parties are collaterally estopped from raising issues in state court that
have been finally determined as to the same parties in previous federal actions.
See Endres, 794 N.E.2d at 1094, citing City of Anderson v. Davis,
743 N.E.2d 359, 365-66 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001), trans. denied, and Mendenhall v.
City of Indianapolis, 717 N.E.2d 1218, 1225 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999), trans. denied.
We summarily affirm the Court of Appeals on this issue.
With regard to his State constitutional claim, we note, as did the Court
of Appeals, that the appendix submitted by Endres is incomplete and that there
is nothing in the materials submitted by either party to indicate that Endres
offered any legal argument in support of his State constitutional claim until he
filed his motion to correct error in the trial court.
794 N.E.2d at 1091 n.1 and 1094. The Court of Appeals took
the position that, as a matter of notice pleading, Endress assertion in his
initial complaint that his discharge constituted a violation of the United States Constitution
and Indiana Constitution each guaranteeing religious freedom and the free exercise thereof was
sufficient for Endres to preserve the constitutional issue for review on appeal.
We find that the mere listing of a contention in a partys complaint,
with no further attempt to press the contention in the trial court, is
insufficient effort to preserve the matter for appellate review. At a minimum,
a party must show that it gave the trial court a bona fide
opportunity to pass upon the merits of the claim before seeking an opinion
on appeal. The policy reasons behind this requirementpreservation of judicial resources, opportunity
for full development of the record, utilization of trial court fact-finding expertise, and
assurance of a claim being tested by the adversary processapply with particular force
where, as here, the claim is a constitutional one.
See generally Chidester
v. City of Hobart, 631 N.E.2d 908, 913 (Ind. 1994) (mere mention rather
than debate of constitutional issues insufficient to preserve the issues for appellate review,
quoting Stilz v. Indianapolis, 55 Ind. 515, 524 (1877)). We therefore decline
to address this issue because the record and arguments have not been sufficiently
developed for us to decide this important issue of Indiana constitutional law.
See Troxel v. Troxel, 737 N.E.2d 745, 752 (Ind. 2000).
We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON, SULLIVAN, BOEHM, AND RUCKER, JJ., concur.