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Opinions Sept. 18, 2013

September 18, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court

The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Tuesday.


Kevin M. Clark v. State of Indiana
20S05-1301-CR-10
Criminal. Reverses conviction and 45-year sentence for Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine, holding that police violated the Fourth Amendment protections of Kevin Clark when a late-night call regarding someone allegedly living improperly at a 24-hour self-storage unit instead became a “fishing expedition” for narcotics based on an officer’s hunch. Officers saw nothing illegal or appearing to constitute narcotics use, and evidence gathered from resulting search must be suppressed as fruit of the poison tree, a 4-1 majority ruled. Justice Mark Massa dissented, holding that when Clark dropped a bag as police approached, it provided reasonable suspicion, as did Clark’s subsequent admission that the bag contained marijuana.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Mario A. Allen v. State of Indiana
46A04-1203-CR-143
Criminal. Affirms conviction for attempted robbery, a Class B felony, attempted robbery, a Class B felony, and adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting into evidence Allen’s arrest report and a co-defendant’s handwritten statement to police. Also rules the trial court properly excluded Allen’s proffered exhibit of an undated taxi cab receipt. Concludes the evidence was sufficient to sustain Allen’s conviction and that Allen abandoned his request for an early trial.

Anonymous, M.D. and Life Care Centers of America, Inc., d/b/a Lane House v. Evelyn Hendricks
79A04-1304-CT-185        
Civil tort. Reverses and remands the denial of Lane House’s motion to stay the proceedings and compel arbitration. Rules although Hendricks did not sign the arbitration agreement herself, she expressly authorized her health care representative to sign and she is now bound by that signing. Also finds that language in the agreement clearly indicates while the National Arbitration Forum is the preferred arbitrator, another arbitration service or method can be used.  

Lifeline Youth & Family Services v. Installed Building Products, Inc. d/b/a Momper Insulation
02A03-1211-CT-502
Civil tort. Affirms trial court denial of motion to correct error over a jury’s award of damages resulting from a fire. Lifeline sought an order to increase the jury’s award of damages from 55 percent of the loss to 100 percent, but the panel ruled that evidence Lifeline relied on to make its argument was not properly before the court because no transcript had been provided.

Brenda Hall v. Dallman Contractors, LLC, Shook, LLC and AT&T Services, Inc.
49A02-1210-CT-806
Civil tort. Reverses and remands a trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of AT&T Services Inc. The court found there are issues of material fact concerning whether AT&T Services was Hall’s employer or a joint employer, and that the company has not established that Hall’s negligence claim against it was barred by the exclusive remedy provision of the Worker’s Compensation Act.

Anthony Michael Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1302-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence for conviction of Class C felony operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension.

David Barbee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0907-CR-370
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct error challenging his convictions of murder and Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Billye D. Gaulden v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1212-CR-651
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 50-year sentence for conviction of Class B felony robbery and two counts of Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Carlos Lamonte Minor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1302-CR-85
Criminal. Affirms 12-year sentence for conviction of Class B felony voluntary manslaughter.

Jennifer Barber v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1208-CR-395
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class C misdemeanor failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident.

Sanders Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1211-CR-904
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and being a habitual offender.

Ryan Schonabaum v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1302-CR-44
Criminal. Affirms 50-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Certain Properties Being Sold for Delinquent Taxes; Tax Sale Certificate #3910192 Parcel #39-0-17-114-024.000-007; Norman Eggers v. MLP Services, LLP and Jefferson County, IN. Auditor, et al. (NFP)
39A01-1211-MI-527
Miscellaneous. Affirms issuance of a tax deed to MLP Services and remands to the trial court to determine damages for an appeal brought in bad faith.

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

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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