ILNews

High court to hear insurance, drug, murder cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court accepted three cases June 3, including two cases in which the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in their rulings on a drug case and an insurance case.  

In Lisa Gray v. State of Indiana, No.82S01-1106-CR-328, the majority of appellate judges reversed Lisa Gray’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, finding the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gray constructively possessed the drug. The majority cited Gee v. State, 810 N.E.2d 338, 340 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), to support their decision.

Judge Cale Bradford dissented and disagreed with how the additional circumstances in Gee were used by the majority to determine intent to maintain dominion and control over the drug. He also believed that the state produced evidence that Gray was in close proximity to the marijuana and it was in plain view. That should be more than enough evidence to find she knew of the drug, he wrote.

In Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Linda Good and Randall Good, No. 85S04-1106-CV-326, the lower appellate court was split on the definition of “ever” on a home insurance application when it came to whether the homeowners’ insurance coverage was ever “declined, cancelled, or non-renewed.”

A March 2003 fire destroyed Linda and Randall Good’s home. They sued for breach of contract after the insurer held off paying the claim because of the investigation of the fire. Allied countersued, arguing that Linda misrepresented her insurance cancellation history on its application regarding whether she ever had insurance coverage denied or cancelled. The jury awarded more than $1 million in damages to Linda, but the Court of Appeals reversed, finding Linda’s misrepresentation on the application was material.

Judge L. Mark Bailey dissented, finding the application field about past insurance cancellations was unclear as to whether “ever” included all insurance companies or just Allied.

The justices also accepted Brice Webb v. State of Indiana, No. 71S05-1106-CR-329, in which Brice Webb appealed his conviction of murder for shooting his girlfriend. In a not-for-publication decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction, finding the trial court didn’t err in refusing to instruct the jury on reckless homicide as a lesser included offense to murder; it didn’t err in allowing the state to charge Webb as an habitual offender beyond the statutory period allowed for amending charges; and it didn’t abuse its discretion in admitting the videotape of Webb’s police interview.

In addition to these cases, the justices also took Richmond State Hospital, et al. v. Paula Brattain, et al., No. 49S02-1106-CV-327.

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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