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Opinions Nov. 20, 2013

November 20, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Clifford and Judith Ann Garrett v. Paul and Linda Spear
23A01-1303-PL-96
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for the Spears on their claims of title by acquiescence and adverse possession and denial of summary judgment for the Garrets. The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment based upon the doctrine of title by acquiescence.

Tony Sluder v. State of Indiana
03A01-1305-CR-208
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. The evidence was insufficient to establish that Sluder intended to use the syringe to introduce a controlled substance into his body.

Thomas Haggerty and Cathy Haggerty v. Anonymous Party 1, Anonymous Party 2, and Anonymous Party 3
53A01-1210-CT-472
Civil tort. Affirms in part and reverses in part. The trial court had jurisdiction to rule on the issue of immunity because it is an affirmative defense. Concludes that the Haggertys’ suit against the anonymous parties is barred by statutory immunity. Affirms the trial court’s grant of summary judgment, on immunity grounds, to AP1. Concludes that there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether immunity also applies to AP2 and AP3; thus, reverses the trial court’s denial of their motion for summary judgment. Judge Baker dissents in part.

The City of Fort Wayne v. Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. d/b/a All-Phase Electric Supply Co.
02A04-1306-CC-283
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment for All-Phase on its unpaid subcontractor’s claim served on the mayor of Fort Wayne and against the city. When read in conjunction with relevant statutory provisions, I.C. 36-1-12-12 allowed All-Phase to serve notice of its unpaid subcontractor’s claim on the mayor of Fort Wayne. Also finds that All-Phase provided timely notice of its claim.

In Re The Paternity of B.B., R.B. v. T.J.
34A02-1303-JP-243
Juvenile. Affirms order modifying custody, visitation and support of B.B. to mother T.J. The court ruled that the mother was in the best position to act as B.B.’s primary caretaker and awarded her physical custody. After review, COA cannot say that the court’s findings or conclusions were clearly erroneous and concludes that the court did not abuse its discretion in granting her petition to modify custody.

John S. Paniaguas, Kathy R. Paniaguas, Woodrow Cornett, III, and Kristine E. Cornett v. Endor, Inc. et al (NFP)
45A03-1205-PL-244
Civil plenary. Affirms order that determined that the appellee homeowners’ homes were in compliance with the restrictive covenants of the subdivision.

In The Matter of The Estate of Charles W. Merlau, Deceased, Patricia Trout v. C. Thomas Cone, et al (NFP)
30A01-1304-EU-166
Estate, unsupervised. Affirms in part and reverses in part, and remands with instructions to conduct further proceedings. The successor representative improperly valued the stock, in that it should have been valued as of the date of distribution rather than on the date of the decedent’s death. All of the heirs should share equally in the payment of the taxes and the loss that was incurred on the stock. A subsequent hearing needs to be conducted that also addresses the issue of an administrative claim that the business lodged against the estate.

Dino D. Hickmon, Sr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1305-CR-167
Criminal. Affirms 22-year sentence for two convictions of Class B felony incest.

Howard Moffitt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1304-CR-186
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary, Class D felony theft and Class C misdemeanor operating never having received a license.

Carlowe Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1304-CR-440
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony nonsupport of a dependent child.

Tawon L. Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1304-CR-368
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony possession of cocaine.

George Cunitz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1305-CR-405
Criminal. Affirms 40-year sentence following convictions for two counts of Class B felony burglary.

Eric Rasnick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
39A01-1211-CR-526
Criminal. Affirms convictions and 36-year sentence for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

The Indiana Supreme Court and 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. 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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