Opinions June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Bruce Ryan v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor, finding no fundamental error by prosecutor’s statements during closing argument. The prosecutor improperly urged the jury to convict Ryan for reasons other than his guilt, but his failure to contemporaneously object and enable the trial court to take corrective action results in procedural default on his appellate claim.

Wednesday’s opinions
Lori Nicklas v. Von Tobel Corporation, Individually, and d/b/a Von Tobel Lumber; and Von Tobel Lumber Company, Inc.
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Von Tobel Corp. and the denial of Nicklas’ motion for summary judgment on the company’s action to recover money owed on a promissory note executed by Nicklas and her husband. An agreed judgment against one obligor does not merge and extinguish the obligation of another person jointly and severally liable on the same contract, so Van Tobel was free to seek a judgment against Lori Nicklas after an agreed judgment with Shawn Nicklas had been entered.

In the Matter of the Supervised Estate of Mildred Borgwald, Deceased v. Old National Bank and Raelynn Pound
Estate, supervised. Affirms decision in favor of Old National Bank and Pound, entitling the bank to foreclose on the mortgage and equity line of credit against the estate. The trial court properly excluded the testimony of the estate’s proffered expert witness, Dr. Robert Lalouche pursuant to Evid. R. 702; the estate was not denied the opportunity to make an offer of proof regarding Lalouche’s anticipated testimony; the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting redacted, certified copies of medical records; and ONB’s mortgage was not invalidated.

Michael W. Palmby v. Karen M. Palmby
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Michael Palmby’s verified petition for revocation of spousal maintenance. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied his request and instead modified the payment terms of the accumulated rehabilitative maintenance.

Indiana Insurance Company v. Patricia Kopetsky, and KB Home Indiana Inc.
Civil plenary. KB Home has successfully alleged “property damage” caused by an “occurrence” pursuant to the policies and that the policies’ “expected and intended” and “contractual liability” exclusions do not work to bar coverage in this case. However, the designated evidence generates a question of fact as to whether the known loss doctrine works to bar coverage in this case, and so remands for trial on that question only. Reverses the trial court’s determination that Indiana Insurance is obligated to indemnify Kopetsky as a question not yet ripe for adjudication and affirms that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of Indiana Insurance on her bad faith counterclaim.

Marilee Garrison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class C felony conspiracy to commit theft.

Shemika L. Boyd v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Amazon Com INDC, LLC (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms decision that Boyd is ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Corday C. Dixon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for two counts of Class C felony child molesting and one count of Class A felony child molesting.

Dennis Daniels v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness.

Nathan Ferguson and Deanna Ferguson v. Shiel Sexton Company, Inc. d/b/a Shiel Sexton, And WR Dunkin & Son, Incorporated; Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve, Inc.; et al (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Shiel Sexton on the Fergusons’ negligence claim.

Aubrey Thompson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Jason Severs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for securities fraud as a Class B felony, unlawful acts related to offer of sale of a security as a Class C felony and violating broker-dealer registration requirements as a Class C felony.

Jacob Lutz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms determination that Lutz is a sexually violent predator.

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


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.