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Opinions April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014
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The following decisions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. James V. Carroll
13-2600
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress following Carroll’s guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography and six counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The information in the detective’s affidavit was sufficient to establish fair probability that the computer or other digital storage devices within Carroll’s home would contain evidence of child pornography or exploitation of a child, despite the fact that the photographs were taken approximately five years earlier.

Indiana Supreme Court
Ernesto Roberto Ramirez v. State of Indiana
45S05-1305-CR-331
Criminal. Affirms denial of Ramirez’s motion for a mistrial. Clarifies precedent that defendants are entitled to a rebuttable presumption of prejudice when they can show by a preponderance of the evidence that an unauthorized, extra-judicial contact or communication with jurors occurred, and that the contact or communication pertained to the matter before the jury. Ramirez failed to prove that a juror’s extraneous contact and communications related to his case.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

L.C. Neely Drilling, Inc. and Maverick Energy, Inc. v. Hoosier Energy Rural Electrical Cooperative, Inc.
49A02-1305-MI-457
Miscellaneous. Affirms ruling in favor of Hoosier Energy upon the parties’ cross-motions for partial summary judgment on Hoosier Energy’s motion seeking judgment that the lease between Maverick and Hoosier Energy had expired and quieting title in favor of Hoosier Energy.

Austin G. Pittman v. State of Indiana
06A05-1305-CR-243
Criminal. Affirms denial of Pittman’s petition to restrict access to the record of his criminal conviction. Affirms appellate court has jurisdiction over the case and rejects state’s argument that Pittman’s appeal should be dismissed.

Gary Community School Corporation v. Prince Lardydell b/n/f Erma Lardydell
45A03-1306-PL-230
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Prince Lardydell by next friend Erma Lardydell and $120,000 in damages after Prince was attacked in the hall of his high school. Declines to second-guess the jury’s decision. Finds no error in the giving of Final Instruction 12 or allowing a former school board member to testify.

In Re the Adoption of L.T.: J.M. and S.M. v. C.T.
49A05-1310-AD-493
Adoption. Reverses order terminating guardianship entered in Hamilton County court. The probate court erroneously granted relief from the guardianship order upon concluding that it was void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Orders a hearing on the best interests of the child.

First Response Services, Inc. v. Vincent A. Cullers (Vincent A. Cullers Counterclaim Plaintiff v. First Response Services, Inc. Counterclaim Defendant)
41A01-1305-PL-224
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of attorney fees for First Response Services. Because the contract failed to comply with the requirements of the Home Improvement Contract Act, the company is not entitled to recover attorney fees in its lawsuit seeking payment from Cullers.

Clarenda Love v. Bruce Love (NFP)
32A01-1311-DR-504
Domestic relation. Affirms division of marital property.

Claricea D. Muse v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A04-1309-CR-472
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Kristin A. Houssain v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A04-1307-CR-330
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the denial of Houssain’s motion to dismiss her forgery and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud charges.

Yosef M. Hajaji v. State of Indiana (NFP)
43A03-1310-CR-407
Criminal. Affirms aggregate three-year sentence for Class D felony domestic battery.

Eric Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1308-CR-415
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony intimidation, Class B misdemeanor public intoxication and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Dillon W. Grissell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1308-CR-737
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class C felony burglary.

Neil Short v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A04-1308-PC-422
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Shannon L. Simons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A05-1308-CR-436
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Simons serve 90 days of her previously suspended sentence.

Alan Ramsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1308-CR-341
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony child molesting and Class A felony child molesting.

Timothy E. Strowmatt v. Jennifer Smith, Matt Penticuff, Misty Cecil (NFP)
33A01-1310-PL-441
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Strowmatt’s civil rights complaint.

T.W. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
93A02-1310-EX-871
Agency action. Reverses dismissal of T.W.’s appeal by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Heath Burgess v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1309-CR-754
Criminal. Affirms aggregate five-year sentence following guilty plea to Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and admittance to being a habitual substance offender.

Robin (Bankert) Hall v. Robert H. Bankert (NFP)
06A01-1304-DR-186
Domestic relation. Affirms order disposing of the then-pending issues involving the allocation of extraordinary uninsured medical expenses, tax deductions and the treatment of gratuitous support in a post-dissolution proceeding.

Howard Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1308-CR-384
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline Wednesday. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline Wednesday.

 

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  1. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  2. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  3. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  4. 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)

  5. "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.

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