The Indiana Supreme Court held oral arguments on a case in John R. Emens Auditorium Oct. 27.
Hearing cases outside the third-floor courtroom at the Indiana Statehouse is something the justices said rarely happens. This event was just the 40th time they have done it since 1994.
The arguments were part of a Supreme Court program that allows people from communities around the state of Indiana to know how the court system works.
“Sometimes the public isn’t always able to come to the Statehouse in Indianapolis,” said Sarah Kidwell, the outreach coordinator for the Indiana Supreme Court. “So it is showcasing the works of the court by going out into the community.”
The process of putting on this event required moving the courtroom to Emens and also meant filling all necessary court positions.
Several local high-ranking officials attended the arguments, such as Interim President Terry King and Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler. On top of that, nearly 1,000 people were in attendance, which included university students and members of the Delaware County Bar Association. Additionally, students from nine local high schools also attended.
Destiny Walker, a senior legal studies major, served as the honorary bailiff at the arguments.
“It was super exciting,” Walker said. “It’s always going to be like a great honor to be able to say that you were the honorary bailiff for the first time that they have ever been at Ball State.”
Walker was chosen through an essay contest held by the legal studies department, and she hopes to attend law school after graduation.
“I’ve always thought being a judge would be cool,” Walker said. “Now I’m thinking judge or justice would be awesome.”
The case, Megenity v. Dunn, was originally tried in Floyd Superior Court in New Albany, Indiana, before it went on to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Megenity and Dunn were students in the same class at a karate school.
On Dec. 1, 2012, Megenity was holding a pad the students were practicing front kicks into during a drill. When it was Dunn’s turn to take his kick, Megenity said Dunn executed a jump kick rather than a front kick.
She was knocked down and tore her ACL, which damaged her meniscus as well, according to case files. She then underwent surgery and rehabilitation.
Megenity filed a complaint against Dunn alleging that he “negligently, recklessly and unreasonably caused” her injuries.
The first time the case was tried, the judge sided with Dunn. But once the case was appealed, the majority of the judges sided with Megenity.
The oral arguments at Ball State focused on whether or not Dunn’s actions fell under “ordinary behavior” of the sport of karate.