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Opinions Dec. 14, 2012

December 14, 2012
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Brenda Alexander v. Donald Alexander
32A05-1108-DR-417
Domestic relations. Affirms in a divided opinion the trial court denial of a motion to correct error of the court’s omission of an award for incapacity maintenance for Brenda Alexander. She claimed that testimony of her disabilities and court findings supported an award, but the majority held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion on ruling that such an award was not warranted.

A Plus Home Health Care Incorporated v. Kathleen Miecznikowski
93A02-1207-EX-558
Civil. Affirms Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s decision in favor of Miecznikowski on her claim for workers’ compensation. Agrees with the board’s conclusion that her fall was a neutral risk and therefore compensable.

Christine Banks v. Timothy R. Banks
45A03-1203-DR-96
Domestic Relation. Affirms trial court’s reduction in the amount of spousal maintenance Christine Banks receives from her ex-husband Timothy Banks. The COA rejected Christine Banks’ argument that Indiana law does not permit incapacity spousal maintenance to be modified, noting it was incorrect. The court stated when an obligor spouse suffers a deterioration in financial condition that is the result of factors beyond his or her control, he or she should not be forced to continuing paying maintenance based on a better financial condition.  

Melissa Patterson v. State of Indiana
34A02-1203-CR-235
Criminal. Reversed and remanded a trial court’s denial of Patterson’s motion to the charges of aiding, inducing or causing invasion of privacy as a class A misdemeanor. Patterson was charged because she twice visited her fiancé after she had obtained a no-contact order against him. The COA held the Indiana General Assembly did not criminalize the actions of a protected person to invite the subject of a protective order to violate the terms of the order.

Granite State Insurance Company v. Robert Lodholtz and Pulliam Enterprises, Inc.
71A04-1111-CT-635
Civil Tort. Affirms in a 2-1 opinion the trial court denial of Granite State to intervene in a suit in which its claims administrator failed to respond to Lodholtz’s claim in a workplace injury suit, resulting in a default judgment and subsequent $3.9 million damages award. The majority held that because Granite State reserved a right to deny coverage in its offer to represent Pulliam in an effort to vacate the judgment, it had an interest that was at best contingent and insufficient to support intervention. Judge John Baker dissented, holding that Granite State’s interest is not being protected.

Bert S. Watkins, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1203-CR-103
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence for obstruction of justice, a Class D felony, with habitual offender enhancement.

Nicholas Corbin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1202-CR-161
Criminal. Affirms convictions of burglary as a Class B felony, burglary as a Class C felony, attempted burglary as a Class C felony, theft as a Class D felony, auto theft as a Class D felony, resisting law enforcement as a Class D felony and a Class A misdemeanor, three counts of receiving stolen property as a Class D felony, and criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor.

Brian Taskey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
67A04-1204-CR-189
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury and Class D felony neglect of a dependent. COA found the state presented sufficient evidence to prove Taskey committed the charged offenses.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: MS. and M.T.; and A.H. and T.S. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
07A04-1204-JT-217
Juvenile Termination of Parental Rights. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights of A.H. (mother) and T.S. (father) to their respective children.

William C. Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
65A04-1206-PC-307
Post Conviction Relief Petition. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief. After the post-conviction court denied Davis’ petition the first time, the COA affirmed much of the decision but remanded for further proceedings related to several of Davis’ claims. The post-conviction court again denied Davis relief and the COA affirmed.

Henry Coyne Woodward v. Kimberlee Ann Norton (NFP)
71A03-1207-DR-311
Domestic Relation. Affirms money judgment in favor of Norton for Woodward’s failure to transfer funds from a retirement account to her. Reverses and remands for proceedings the order finding Woodward in contempt because the judgment that Woodward pay Norton a fixed amount is not enforceable by contempt.

Benito D. Lesiak v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1204-CR-183
Criminal. Affirms conviction of reckless homicide, a Class C felony.

Dewayne Walker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1204-CR-199
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary, finding trial court did properly deny Walker's request to instruct the jury on the less-included offense of residential entry.

Kenneth Meer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A04-1204-CR-193
Criminal. Affirms convictions of rape, as a Class A felony, and criminal deviate conduct, as a Class A felony.

Miles A. Parker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A01-1204-CR-151
Criminal. Affirms 20-year aggregate sentence for convictions of three counts of burglary, each as a Class B felony, two counts of attempted burglary, each as a Class B felony, and one count of burglary as a Class C felony.
 

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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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