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Opinions Oct. 30, 2012

October 30, 2012
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Indiana Supreme Court
Lisa J. Kane v. State of Indiana
30S04-1206-CR-372
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony receiving stolen property and remands for retrial. The trial court improperly instructed the jury on the mental state required to convict Kane.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Estate of Nathaniel Kappel v. William Kappel, Judith Kappel, and Mark Kappel
32A01-1111-ES-526
Estate, supervised. Affirms denial of the estate’s recovery of insurance proceeds, directive that William and Mark Kappel withdraw their claims against the estate, and the denial of the complaint for contribution. Also affirms denial of the request the estate pay William, Judith and Mark Kappel’s attorney fees. The probate court’s judgment is not clearly erroneous based on the evidence.

Boulder Acquisition Corp. (n/k/a Affiliated Computer Services, LLC), et al. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development
93A02-1202-EX-127
Agency appeal. Reverses liability administrative law judge’s decision to combine BAC’s unemployment experience account with all its subsidiaries’ accounts and in recalculating BAC and the subsidiaries’ contribution rates. BAC is not a successor employer to the subsidiaries under I.C. 22-4-10-6(a) or 22-4-11.5-7. Remands to the Department of Workforce Development to adjust their respective experience accounts accordingly and to refund any overpayment by BAC and/or the subsidiaries.

Mark Carter and John E. Carter, Co-Personal Rep. of the Estate of John O. Carter, M.D., Deceased v. Loretta Robinson, Individually and as Admin. of the Estate of John E. Robinson, Deceased
45A05-1110-CT-563
Civil tort. Affirms $550,000 verdict in favor of Loretta Robinson, individually and as administratix of the estate of John E. Robinson, deceased, following John Robinson’s complaint for medical malpractice. Concludes Dr. James Bryant’s expert opinion is based on a proper use of the differential etiology methodology, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded Dr. Michael Kaufman as a witness in support of Carter. Denies Robinson’s request for attorney fees.

Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, et al. v. Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC
93A02-1112-EX-1141
Agency appeal. Reverses approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission of a substitute natural gas purchase and sale agreement between the Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification. The utilities and industrial group’s claims are justiciable, the commission did not exceed its jurisdiction when it approved the contract, and the contract’s definition of retail end use customer inappropriately included industrial transportation customers even though the Legislature did not intend for these customers to be subject to the Substitute Natural Gas Act as retail end use customers. Chief Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Kevin Reaves v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1202-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

In the Matter of the Revocable Trust of Mary Ruth Moeder (NFP)
49A02-1205-TR-377
Trust. Affirms order modifying the trust agreement.

Thomas R. Clements v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1204-CR-161
Criminal. Affirms denial of verified petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal.

State of Indiana v. Christopher Holloway (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-240
Criminal. Reverses revision of Holloway’s sentence and remands with instructions to reinstate the original sentence.

Demetriese Gunn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1202-CR-152
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony neglect of a dependent and Class D felony strangulation.
 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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