Opinions March 6, 2013

March 6, 2013
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Kimberly Heaton v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Holds the statutorily mandated preponderance of the evidence standard is the correct legal standard to be applied in a probation revocation proceeding where the state claims that the probationer committed a new criminal offense while on probation. Vacates finding Heaton violated her probation and orders a new determination of whether she violated the conditions of her probation by a preponderance of the evidence pursuant to I.C. 35-38-2-3(e) (2008), and if so, what is the appropriate sanction for such violation.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Holiday Hospitality Franchising, Inc. v. Amco Insurance Company
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Amco Insurance Co. on its motion for declaratory judgment to enforce its reading of the insurance contract with the hotel disclaiming coverage for, and its duty to defend against, a civil complaint brought by a motel guest molested by an off-duty motel employee. The facts of the case reflect precisely the sort of scenario contemplated by the parties to be excluded from coverage when they agreed to the insurance contract. Chief Justice Dickson concurs and Justice Rucker dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Alva Electric, Inc., Arc Construction Co., Inc., Danco Construction, Inc., Deig Brothers Lumber & Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp., and EVSC Foundation, Inc.
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the school corporation and the foundation on the contractors’ suit for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, claiming the school corporation’s renovation of an administrative building should have been subject to the competitive bidding procedures required for a public work project under Indiana Code 36-1-12-4 and that the actions taken to accomplish the renovation constituted an antitrust violation under Indiana Code 24-1-2-3. The scheme used by the school corporation has not been authorized by the General Assembly and violates public bidding laws. Judge Friedlander dissents.

The First Baptist Church of Hammond v. Felipe Andrade, a minor, by his mother and custodial parent, Manuela Andrade (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict in favor of Felipe Andrade on his lawsuit after he was injured at an activity hosted by the church, the finding he was 45 percent at fault for his injuries, and reduction of his recovery accordingly.

Damion Martin v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of murder, one count of Class B felony aggravated battery, and three counts of Class C felony battery.

Brian Rinearson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license and sentence of 365 days incarceration, all suspended.

City of Muncie v. Stanley Benford (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms order setting aside an earlier order dismissing a forfeiture claim brought by the city against Stanley Benford.

Leonard Beaty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms three convictions of Class A felony child molesting.

In the Matter of: B.G., a Child in Need of Services; B.T. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of B.G. as a child in need of services.

Calvin Horton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and order that Horton serve remainder of his sentence at the Department of Correction.

Christopher Groce and Tracey Groce v. American Family Insurance Company and Michael A. Meek (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for American Family and Meek after the Groces filed a complaint for damages against them alleging negligence and breach of contract.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.