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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
49S02-1311-CR-734
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.
64A03-1310-CC-429
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
84A01-1302-ES-80
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
32A04-1310-DR-506
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.
49A02-1304-PL-340
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)
82A04-1312-CR-599
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)
93A02-1310-EX-886
Agency action. Affirms decision that Boyd is ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Corday C. Dixon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1311-CR-448
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)
20A05-1310-CR-517
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)
29A02-1310-CT-839
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Shiel Sexton on the Fergusons’ negligence claim.

Aubrey Thompson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-606
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Jason Severs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A05-1310-CR-527
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)
15A01-1310-CR-451
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. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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