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Opinions April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Thursday.

United States of America v. Lori Hargis
12-2153
Criminal. Affirms 60-month sentence for Lori Hargis’ conviction of conspiracy to use fire to commit wire fraud for her role in recruiting a man to set fire to her home to collect insurance proceeds. Circuit judges rejected Hargis’ argument that the District Court erred when it adjusted her sentence from the guideline range of 15 to 21 months in prison, finding that the judge adequately explained his rationale for imposing sentence.

Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Thursday.

Christopher Groce and Tracey Groce v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, and Michael A. Meek
48S02-1307-CT-472
Civil tort. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants that also was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Applying Filip v. Block, 879 N.E.2d 1076 (Ind. 2008), justices held the trial court properly granted summary judgment in the Groce’s negligence claim because their homeowner’s insurance policy failed to cover full replacement value after a 2007 fire. While the claim was filed less than two years after the fire, justices held that in the exercise of ordinary diligence in reviewing their homeowner’s insurance policy, the Groces could have timely discovered that the company's replacement cost liability was capped at the dwelling loss coverage limit no later than the date of their first policy renewal in 2003.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Bruce E. Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)
47A01-1304-CR-148
Criminal. Affirms convictions and aggregate 16-year sentence for Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine and Class D felony possession of chemical reagents or precursors with intent to manufacture controlled substances.

Corey Coleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-594
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

In re: the Grandparent Visitation of C.S.N.: Brooke Neuhoff v. Scott A. Ubelhor and Angela S. Ubelhor (NFP)
19A05-1311-MI-542
Miscellaneous. Stays trial court order granting visitation with minor child to parental grandparents and retains jurisdiction. Remands to the trial court with instructions to issue new findings and conclusions within 30 days. Grandparent visitation is suspended pending review.

Shawna Gallagher v. Jacob Gallagher (NFP)
37A03-1308-DR-342
Domestic. Reverses order modifying physical custody of minor children in favor of father, Jacob Gallagher, finding the trial court erred because there was no substantial change in circumstance.

In re: the Marriage of: Carrie A. Chapman v. Stephen L. Chapman (NFP)
02A05-1307-DR-343
Domestic. Affirms award of child support.

The Indiana Supreme Court and  Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline Friday. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline Friday.
 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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