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Opinions, Oct. 3, 2013

October 3, 2013
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Opinions, Oct. 3, 2013

Indiana Tax Court

Orange County Assessor v. James E. Stout
49T10-1112-TA-94
Property tax. Affirms the final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that the Orange County Assessor failed the meet the burden of proving that Stout’s land assessment was proper. Finds although the Indiana Board applied a 2011 statute to a 2010 appeal, the 2011 law was not new but a clarification of the original 2009 statute which shifted the burden to the assessor. Also rules the assessor failed to provide any evidence demonstrating that Stout was not using his 8.12 acre property for an agriculture purpose.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Koch Development Corporation and Daniel L. Koch v. Lori A. Koch, as Personal Representative of the Estate of William A. Koch, Jr., Deceased
82A04-1212-PL-612
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court’s judgment that Lori A. Koch, as personal representative of the Estate of William A. Koch Jr., does not have to sell the estate’s share in Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari to Koch Development Corp. and Daniel L. Koch. Finds the evidence supports the conclusion that Daniel Koch and KDC materially breached the terms of the Share Purchase and Security Agreement by offering a per-share price that was significantly less than the price agreed to by the parties. Also rules that this material breach relieves the estate from its obligation sell its shares.  

Katherine Chaffins and Roger Chaffins Sr. v. Clint Kauffman, M.D.; Family and Women's Health Services; and Pulaski County Memorial Hospital
66A04-1302-CT-85
Civil tort. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Clint Kauffman and Family and Women’s Health Services, with the majority finding that a material issue of genuine fact exists as to the Chaffinses’ claim that defendants’ alleged negligence after a colonoscopy resulted in 12 hours of prolonged pain before the subsequent diagnosis of a perforated colon. Judge Elaine Brown dissented and would have affirmed summary judgment because no evidence shows that the defendants deviated from the standard of care appropriate in such a case.

Geroge A. Nunley v. State of Indiana
10A04-1212-CR-630
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony robbery but reverses habitual offender finding because it was based on a complaint amended after a jury had been empaneled, prejudicing Nunley’s substantial rights. The panel concluded that no part of I.C. 35-34-1-5 allowed the amendment that the state proposed in this case. The matter was remanded to removing the 12-year enhancement to an eight-year sentence on the robbery conviction.

Shayla Bowling v. State of Indiana
92A03-1212-CR-553
Criminal. Affirms a conviction of Class D felony domestic violence, holding that a jury properly determined that Bowling was “living as if a spouse” with the victim with whom she was involved in a romantic relationship despite being married to another man. The court rejected Bowling’s argument that she could not be living as if a spouse with another person while she was married because to do so would be bigamy and that applying the domestic violence statute in her case could arguably broaden the scope of the law.

Jose Garcia v. G. Wm. Walker Construction (NFP)
93A02-1305-EX-437
Civil. Affirms the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s ruling that Garcia’s injury did not arise from his employment.

Elbert G. Elliott v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1212-CR-659
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Elliott’s probation based on drug use and willful failure to pay restitution.

Milton L. Medsker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1303-PC-203
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Medsker’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Marlen Hernandez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1304-CR-181
Criminal. Affirms conviction for criminal recklessness, a Class D felony.

Richard Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A01-1212-CR-571
Criminal. Affirms Green’s conviction for armed robbery, a Class B felony, and his adjudication as a habitual offender.

Robert Klinglesmith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1303-CR-116
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part. Concludes that Klinglesmith did not suffer fundamental error due to the cumulative effect of allegedly erroneously admitted evidence but that one of his two convictions for Class B felony criminal deviate conduct must be vacated due to double jeopardy concerns.  

Matthew P. Thrall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
56A05-1304-CR-159
Criminal. Affirms 13-year sentence for pleading guilty to one count of Class B felony rape.

Priority Press, Inc. v. Media Methodology (NFP)
29A02-1303-SC-278
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Media Methodology.

Rasheen Middleton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1301-CR-8
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 12-year sentence, with two years suspended, for one count of Class B felony unlawful possession of firearm by a serious violent felon.

Dennis Tiller v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1211-CR-928
Criminal. Affirms convictions for one count child molesting as a Class A felony and one count child molesting as a Class C felony. Concludes while the prosecutor’s comments may have been more narrowly construed, they did not prevent Tiller from receiving a fair trial.

Indiana Supreme Court released no opinions before IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals released no Indiana opinions before IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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)

  2. "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.

  3. 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.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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