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Opinions July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013
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The following opinion was released after IL deadline Monday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mobile Tool International, Inc. and MTI Insulated Products, Inc. v. Davis H. Elliot Company, Inc.
12-2673
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Mobile. Finds that the indemnity provision in the invoice did not supersede the language in the lease so Elliot was required to defend and indemnify Mobile against claims made by an injured employee.

Today's opinions:
Indiana Court of Appeals

In Re the Adoption of: P.A.H., f/k/a P..V., Minor Child, B.D. and L.H.C., v. J.H.
79A02-1302-AD-183
Adoption. Reverses trial court’s order granting post-adoption visitation to P.H.’s biological uncle, J.H. Finds the lower court lacked authority to grant post-adoption visitation rights to J.H. since he is not within any statutory category of persons entitled to visitation rights.

In Re: The Paternity of Jo.J., J.W.J., v. D.C.
29A05-1209-JP-447
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the judgment of the trial court to modify the father’s child support obligation and to jail father for contempt. The COA concludes the trial court may have erred in considering mother’s request for “temporary support” prematurely. It did not err in modifying father’s weekly child support payment.

Darla M. Brenton, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Evelyn Norfleet, Deceased v. Leslie D. Lutz
77A01-1302-ES-86
Estate, supervised. Affirms trial court’s order removing Brenton as special administrator of her mother’s estate. Brenton had successfully sought to be appointed as administrator for the sole purpose of collecting damages for wrongful death. However, when the trial court removed her as administrator after learning her brother had already been named as the executor of her mother’s estate, Brenton argued that the trial court did not comply with Indiana Code Section 29-1-10-6. This did not persuade the COA. The appeals court ruled without a valid appointment of a special administrator, there is not reason to seek removal under I.C. Section 29-1-10-6.      

Adam Miller v. State of Indiana
53A05-1211-CR-560
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s denial of Miller’s motion to suppress. Concludes the search of Miller’s backpack was impermissible under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Cale Bradford dissents, arguing the search of Miller’s backpack did not violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. Further, he asserts, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the state to reopen its evidence at the suppression hearing.  

Kevin Buckley v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A04-1211-CR-564
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class C felony.

Robert Marks v. State of Indiana (NFP)

62A01-1212-CR-591
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s revocation of Marks’ probation.  

Anonymous Hospital, Inc., v. Jane Doe, Et Al., and Indiana Department of Insurance (NFP)
20A03-1210-CT-426
Civil tort. Reverses and remands for further proceedings the trial court granting Doe partial summary judgment. Rules Doe’s complaint for damages falls within the purview of the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.

Joseph Dowell and Angie L. Grove and Cody Rowe v. American Modern Home Insurance Company (NFP)
50A03-1211-CT-487
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for American Modern Home Insurance Co.

Gary Wayne Shortt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1212-CR-590
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Shortt’s motion for earned credit time and to correct error in his sentence.

Floyd D. Stewart v. State of Indiana (NFP)

65A05-1212-CR-656
Criminal. Affirms Stewart’s conviction of two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and sentence to concurrent terms of 23 years, with 21 years executed and two years suspended.  

Kendal R. Pitts v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A03-1211-CR-492
Criminal. Affirms Pitts’ 30-year sentence for Class A felony rape.

Dominique Devon Hayes v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A05-1211-CR-576
Criminal. Affirms Hayes’ sentence of 17 years for one count of Child Molesting as a Class B felony.  

Margaret Smith v. Kristopher Schaler (NFP)

49A05-1211-CT-552
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s denial of Smith’s motion to dismiss Schaler’s complaint pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6). Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents, arguing the trial court did err because Schaler has only pled to spoliation-of-evidence claim in his complaint and spoliation of evidence is not a recognized cause of action in Indiana.

Victor Fointno v. Clair Barnes, Et Al., (NFP)
52A05-1303-SC-126
Small Claim. Affirms trial court’s entry of judgment against Fointno and in favor of the defendants.

James A. Groff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1211-CR-886
Criminal. Affirms Groff’s statutory no-contact order as a condition of his executed sentence following his plea of guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony.  

In the Matter of the Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of M.G. & A.G. (Minor Children), and S.S.(Mother) & S.G.(Father), v. Child Advocates Inc. and Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1211-JT-583
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of mother’s and father’s parental rights.

Truong Vu v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A04-1207-CR-352
Criminal. Affirms Vu’s convictions for criminal deviate conduct, as a Class B felony; sexual battery, as a Class D felony; and two counts of criminal confinement, as Class D felonies. Remands with instructions for the court to correct its written sentencing statement and any related documents to include the term of probation.  

Jose F. Medina v. State of Indiana (NFP)

20A04-1210-CR-525
Criminal. Affirms Medina’s conviction of and sentence for Class A felony attempted child molesting.

Adam Sullender v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1212-CR-554
Criminal. Affirms Sullender’s sentence for Class C felony battery of a pregnant woman and Class D felony strangulation.
 
Martez Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1212-CR-1007
Criminal. Affirms Brown’s 150-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of murder and one count of Class B felony robbery.

Billy Ray Mead v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1301-CR-33
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s revocation of Mead’s probation and order for him to serve his previously suspended five-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction with credit for time served.  

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court release no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals released no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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