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Opinions Dec. 27, 2012

December 27, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Thursday
United States of America v. Fairly W. Earls
11-3347
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of making a false statement on a passport application, aggravated identity theft and knowingly transferring a stolen identification document. Affirms the admission of certain evidence at Earls’ trial and finds the District Court did not err in its calculation of his offense level.

Wednesday
Douglas Richards, et al. v. National Labor Relations Board and United Steel, et al.
12-1973, 12-1984
On petitions for review of decisions and orders of the National Labor Relations Board. Dismisses the petitions for review because the petitioners no longer suffer an injury-in-fact and do not satisfy the statutory “aggrieved” requirement.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Thursday

Medea Woods v. State of Indiana
39A05-1204-CR-189
Criminal. Affirms denial of Woods’ partial motion to dismiss. Finds the state has alleged sufficient facts when the charging information and probable cause affidavit are considered together.

Slavojka Pistalo v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and The Estate of Iris M. Wilks, Deceased
45A04-1204-PL-214
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Progressive on Pistalo’s direct action against the company seeking a $333,600 excess judgment, which included post-judgment interest. Finds summary judgment was inappropriate because the issue of whether Progressive acted in bad faith has not been established in the designated materials as a matter of law. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Rail Road Company v. John Blaine Davidson, Admin. of the Estate of Carolyn Davidson, Deceased, and Tonya Kincaid, as Mother and Next Friend of Cierra Kincaid, a Minor
84A01-1202-CT-81
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of John Blaine Davidson and Tonya Kincaid with respect to Indiana Rail Road’s claim that their cause is preempted by federal law. The trial court properly denied the railroad’s motion for partial summary judgment, concluding that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether federal preemption precludes the appellees’ claims with respect to the adequacy of traffic warning devices.

John T. Brightwell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1205-CR-218
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence and remands for correction.

Eric D. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1206-CR-460
Criminal. Denies Smith’s motion for leave to file an appeal and dismisses it with prejudice.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of R.D. (Minor Child), and M.D. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1205-JT-394
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Todd Fuller v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1205-CR-223
Criminal. Affirms 3-year sentence for Class D felony domestic battery in the presence of a child and Class A misdemeanor interference with the reporting of a crime.

Michael Craig v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-395
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary, Class D felony theft and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Lee E. Davis, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1205-CR-241
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony robbery.

Kent A. Easley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1207-CR-333
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Donald and Jennie Walker v. Glenn Sermersheim (NFP)
29A02-1204-CC-338
Civil collections. Affirms order awarding the Walkers’ former attorney $14,800. Denies Sermersheims’ request for attorney fees.

Mark A. Guffey v. Deborah L. Guffey (NFP)
36A01-1204-DR-171
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of father’s request to modify custody and the trial court’s modification of his parenting time and child support obligation, and the finding that he owed a child support arrearage.

David Darst v. Indiana Dept. of Correction and Bruce Lemmon in his official capacity as Commissioner (NFP)
46A03-1206-CT-288
Civil tort. Reverses dismissal of Darst’s claims against the DOC, but affirms dismissal of his claim against Lemmon.

Robert J. Pearson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A04-1204-CR-221
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Elbert M. Jones, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1204-CR-216
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony robbery.

Mark Allen Pratt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A04-1205-CR-268
Criminal.  Affirms conviction of Class C felony child molesting.

Wednesday
Leslee Orndorff v. Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, R. Scott Waddell, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
53A04-1206-PL-299
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of Orndorff’s request for a preliminary injunction on suspending her license and remands for further proceedings. Finds she has a reasonable likelihood of succeeding on the merits of her laches defense and has carried her burden to establish the other requirements for a preliminary injunction.

Lisa A. Birkhimer v. Neil S. Birkhimer
29A02-1111-DR-1058
Domestic relation. Finds the following issues require remand to the trial court: the trial court did not include Lisa’s debt to her father in the marital estate; the court allowed Lisa to deduct certain expenses from her income for child support purposes, but did not make findings supporting these deviations from the Child Support Guidelines; and the parties both agree that because Lisa is responsible for paying the children’s controlled expenses, the parenting time credit should be applied to Neil. Affirms in all other respects and remands with instructions.

Sharif Fields v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1205-PC-249
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Billy Adams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-422
Criminal.  Affirms convictions of Class C felony criminal confinement and Class D felony domestic battery.

Robert D. Ratcliff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
85A05-1205-CR-248
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for Class C felony burglary and Class D felony auto theft.

In Re the Paternity of C.C.M.: M.M. v. V.K.H. (NFP)
64A03-1205-JP-230
Juvenile. Reverses parenting time order and remands for a redetermination of that issue in accordance with the opinion. Affirms trial court did not abuse its discretion in declining to hold mother in contempt and order father pay a portion of mother’s attorney fees.

In Re the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.R.: D.R. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
18A02-1202-JT-104
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Christopher White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1203-PC-102
Post conviction. Affirms conviction of Class C felony fraud on a financial institution and denial of White’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Allen Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1204-CR-188
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony attempted rape and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Jonathon P. Grigsby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1205-CR-238
Criminal. Affirms reinstatement of previously suspended sentence following revocation of Grigsby’s probation.

Karl Kapanke, Universal Am-Can, Ltd., and M.C. Schmitt Trucking, Inc. v. James Stovall and Tracy Stovall (NFP)
45A03-1201-CT-12
Civil tort. Affirms judgment for the Stovalls on their claims of negligence and loss of consortium following a jury trial.

Jeffrey Adams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1205-CR-385
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and execution of the remainder of Adams’ suspended sentence.
 

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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