Opinions

Opinions May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Clara Briggs v. Kolb Roellgen & Kirchoff, LLP (mem. dec.)
42A01-1610-CC-2235
Civil collection. Affirms and reverses in part the Knox Superior Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Kolb Roellgen & Kirchoff LLP in its action against Clara Briggs for the recovery of unpaid legal fees, collection costs and prejudgment interest. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Briggs’ motion for change of venue or motion for summary judgment, or in granting the firm’s motion for summary judgment to the extent the firm is entitled to unpaid legal fees in the amount of $36,188.41.
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Opinions May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Chijioke B. Ben-Yisrayl v. Ron Neal
16-1013
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s denial of Chijioke B. Ben-Yisrayl’s petition for habeas relief. Finds Ben-Yisrayl did not raise a claim of ineffective assistance of resentencing counsel in his habeas petition, and his failure to do so is a waiver.
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Opinions May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tyler R. Browder v. State of Indiana
49A04-1608-CR-1857
Criminal. Affirms Tyler Browder’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds Officer Brady Ball’s decision to prolong the traffic stop did not violate the Fourth Amendment or Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. Also finds Browder’s consent to search the vehicle was voluntary.
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Opinions May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
The Estate of George A. Henry, Deceased v. Nadene Woods
49A05-16-PL-810
Civil plenary. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s decision to partially allow Nadene Woods’ claim for services against the estate of George Henry. Finds the probate court was not required to evaluate Woods’ claim in a manner that presumed the services to be gratuitous. Also finds there is not a complete lack of evidentiary support for the challenged findings as to Henry’s expression of intent.
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Opinions May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Deundre Rashad Kearney v. State of Indiana (mem.dec.)
45A03-1611-CR-2657
Criminal. Affirms Deundre R. Kearney’s conviction of Level 3 felony armed robbery. Finds the evidence sufficiently established Kearney committed the robbery.
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Opinions May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Joseph M. Johnson III
01S00-1604-DI-188
Disciplinary. Suspends Joseph M. Johnson III from the practice of law for at least one year without automatic reinstatement. Finds Johnson committed attorney misconduct by violating Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b), 8.4(d) and 8.4(e) in connection with his pattern of harassment of an ex-girlfriend.
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Opinions May 16, 2017

May 16, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tommy R. Pruitt v. State of Indiana
15A05-1606-CR-1235
Criminal. Affirms Tommy R. Pruitt’s sentence to an aggregate term of 180 years for the murder of a law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty. Finds the trial court would have imposed the same sentence of 65 years for Pruitt’s murder charge had it only considered the aggravators that complied with Blakely v. Washington. Also finds Pruitt’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.
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Opinions May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017
The following Indiana Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday: DS v. AR (mem. dec.) 29A05-1608-PO-1893 Protective order. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s issuance of a protective order. Finds the evidence supports the trial court’s order and D.S. has not presented a case of prima facie error.
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Opinions May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tyler Allen Whitesell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
90A02-1612-CR-2768
Criminal. Affirms Tyler Allen Whitesell’s aggregate sentence of six years following his guilty pleas to dealing in a narcotic drug as a Level 5 felony, two counts of dealing in a substance represented to be a controlled substance as Level 6 felonies, and theft as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.
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Opinions May 11, 2017

May 11, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
Danny Sims v. Andrew Pappas and Melissa Pappas
45S03-1701-CT-26
Civil tort. Affirms the judgment of the Lake Superior Court in favor of Andrew and Melissa Pappas for compensatory and punitive damages. Finds the remoteness of a prior offense does not affect the admissibility of the evidence. Also finds the compensatory damages were within the evidence and the punitive damages were not unconstitutionally excessive.
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Opinions May 10, 2017

May 10, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Shelly M. Phipps v. State of Indiana
28A05-1609-CR-2097
Criminal. Reverses Shelly M. Phipps’ conviction of Level 6 felony invasion of privacy. Finds the state failed to prove that Phipps contacted K.G. by sending an email. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Rudolph Pyle dissents with separate opinion.
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Opinions May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Matthew Ward v. Lowe's
93A02-1609-EX-2133
Agency. Affirms the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s denial of Matthew Ward’s application for workers’ compensation benefits. Finds the board did not abuse its discretion in denying his application. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents with separate opinion.
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Opinions May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Earl Ison v. State of Indiana

24A04-1607-PC-1618
Post-conviction. Grants rehearing to delete the second paragraph of footnote three in the Indiana Court of Appeals’ original opinion. Finds that the footnote erroneously concluded that Indiana Code section 35-50-2-9 contains a technical error. Affirms the original opinion in all other respects.

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Opinions May 5, 2017

May 5, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
Trondo L. Humphrey v. State of Indiana
48S02-1609-PC-480
Post-conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Trondo Humphrey has shown the evidence leads unerringly and unmistakably to a conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court. Remands for a new trial. Justices Mark Massa and Geoffrey Slaughter concur with separate opinion.
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Opinions May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
Marcus Zanders v. State of Indiana
15S01-1611-CR-571
Criminal. Affirms Marcus Zanders’ convictions of two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Chief Justice Loretta Rush writes for the majority that under federal precedent, the Fourth Amendment does not require police to obtain a search warrant to gather information an individual has voluntarily relinquished to a third party — in this case, cellphone historical location data.
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Opinions May 3, 2017

May 3, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mohinder Singh v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
41A05-1606-CR-1405
Criminal. Affirms Mohinder Singh’s conviction of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in a manner endangering a person as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds the Johnson Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence.
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Opinions May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
J.P., et al. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
71A03-1610-JT-2441
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of J.P.’s parental rights to her three children. Finds the St. Joseph Probate Court’s findings — there was a reasonable probability that the conditions leading to the children’s removal and continued placement outside J.P.’s care would not be remedied and that the termination of J.P.’s parental rights was in the children’s best interests — were supported by evidence.
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Opinions April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert C. Mills v. Indiana Department of Child Services, Shirley Starks, Kristen L. Sparks, Melanie Reising, and Elizabeth Herrmann
82A01-1606-PL-1482
Civil plenary. Affirms the Vanderburgh Superior Court’s rulings in favor of the Indiana Department of Child Services on Robert Mills’ various claims for discrimination on the basis of sex and age, and for retaliation. Finds the trial court did not err in ruling against Mills.
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Opinions April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Lois Marie Trask v. Edgar Rodriguez, et al.
14-2601
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Affirms the award of summary judgment to the casino employee defendants. Finds that if Lois Trask never received a copy of the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, she should have asked for a copy, which she failed to do. Also finds the district court did not err in enforcing a settlement between Trask and the defendants.
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Opinions April 26, 2017

April 26, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana, Indiana Department of Correction, and Indiana State Employees' Appeals Commission v. Debra Mills, et al.
49A02-1605-PL-998
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part the Marion Superior Court’s order on petition for judicial review granting judgment in favor of Debra Mills, Thomas Bird, and other DOC teachers. Finds the Indiana State Employees’ Appeals Commission and an administrative law judge properly determined that the state calculated the employees’ retention scores and adhered to statutory layoff rights in accordance with Indiana Code 4-15-2-32(a)-(b).
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Opinions April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dugniqio Forest v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
82A04-1609-CR-1980
Criminal. Affirms Dugniqio Forest’s conviction of Level 4 felony possession of cocaine and sentence to 11 years. Finds the Vanderburgh Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by granting the state’s motion for continuance and that Forest’s sentence is not inappropriate.
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Opinions April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Willie Dixon v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1606-CR-1400
Criminal. Affirms Willie Dixon’s conviction for resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds Officer Babacar Diouf’s action of pulling his car in front of Dixon’s and trying to “cut him off” constituted an order to stop under Indiana Code 35-44.1-3-1(a)(3). Also finds that given the fact that Dixon was violating Indiana Code 9-21-17-14, his argument that he did not have a duty to stop when Diouf ordered him to do so necessarily fails.
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Opinions April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Matthew L. Johnson v. State of Indiana
32A05-1604-CR-703
Criminal. Reverses the Hendricks Superior Court order overruling Matthew L. Johnson’s objections to the habitual offender enhancement charges. Finds that “convictions from which the offender was released more than 10 years before the current offense do not count for habitual offender purposes under Section 8(d).” Remands for review.
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Opinions April 18, 2017

April 18, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wanda Roberts, et al. v. Anthony W. Henson
10A01-1607-PL-1647
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Anthony Henson on the Robertses’ lawsuit claiming the construction of his home on a lot in their subdivision violated the neighborhood’s restrictive covenants. Affirms Henson’s home did not violate the covenants against barns or other outbuildings being used a residence, but finds questions of material fact regarding whether his home’s height and garage size violate the covenants.
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Opinions April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rueth Development Company and Rueth Development Company d/b/a Superior Lumber Company v. H&H Rueth, Inc. (mem. dec.)
45A03-1608-CP-1821
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to H&H Rueth Inc. in complaint that it owed money to Rueth Development Co. The Lake Superior Court correctly found that Rueth Development’s untimely response to H&H’s motion for summary judgment and corresponding documents could not be considered.
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  2. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  3. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  4. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  5. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

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