Opinions

Court OKs admission of tweets, reverses criminal gang activity conviction

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression regarding the authentication of social media posts, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the testimony from the defendant's girlfriend that the Twitter account belonged to her boyfriend, as well as content from that account, sufficiently showed the defendant was the author of its tweets.
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Opinions April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bruce Angelo Evans v. State of Indiana
48A02-1407-CR-496
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug and pleading to being a habitual substance offender. Evans waived his challenge regarding the instruction on jury unanimity by failing to object to the jury instruction or offer one of his own, and any error does not rise to the level of fundamental error. Affirms admission into evidence a large amount of cash found on Evans when he was searched by law enforcement officers after the controlled drug buy.
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Man’s conviction from controlled drug buy upheld

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Anderson man who was criminally convicted for selling drugs to a confidential informant waived both his arguments on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. And, the judges found no fundamental error in a jury instruction given or the admission of cash found on the defendant by police.
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Opinions April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015
 Indiana Supreme Court
James Bogner v. Teresa Bogner
45S04-1501-DR-23
Domestic relation. Affirms modification of child support that deviated from what was found under the child support guidelines of $59 a week paid by the father to $105 per week paid by the father, in addition to order that mother could claim the child each year on her taxes. The trial court did not err in determining that given the parents’ circumstances, the guideline amount was unjust and unreasonable. Finds father waived his challenge to the form of the summary proceeding when he failed to make a contemporaneous objection to that procedure. 
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Opinions April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dawn Warrick and Nathan Parrish v. Steve and Mitzi Stewart
92A03-1407-CC-257
Civil collection. Affirms grant of Steve Stewart’s motion to set aside the jury’s verdict and orders a new trial on his negligence claim against the Parrishes. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it weighed the evidence presented regarding Stewart’s speed and concluding he was not speeding. There was also ample evidence represented that the Warricks negligently failed to restrain the dog that Stewart hit, which caused his accident.

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Opinions April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Adegoke Adetokunbo aka Robert Adesanoye, and Grace Itaniyi v. State of Indiana
49A02-1407-CR-511
Criminal. Affirms Adetokunbo’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor battery, and affirms Itaniyi’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Reverses Itaniyi’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery based on insufficient evidence and remands with instructions to vacate that conviction.
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Opinions April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015
Tax. Affirms the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance did not err in denying the Clark County Board of Commissioners' request to increase the county's Cumulative Capital Development Fund tax rate for the 2012 budget year. The DLGF's consideration of the board's purpose for requesting an increase to the CCDF's tax rate was proper, and neither I.C. 6-1.1-41 nor 36-9-14.5-2 authorize an increase to the CCDF tax rate for the purposes Clark County intended.
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Opinions April 23, 2015

April 23, 2015
J.B. v. State of Indiana 
49A02-1409-JV-688
Juvenile. Affirms determination that J.B. committed what would be Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm if committed by an adult. There were no federal or state constitutional violations by admitting evidence obtained during J.B.’s encounter with a police officer.  
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Opinions April 22, 2015

April 22, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
William I. Babchuk, M.D., P.C., d/b/a Babchuk Imaging, P.C., and William I. Babchuk v. Indiana University Health Tipton Hospital, Inc., d/b/a Indiana University Health Tipton Hospital
80A04-1409-PL-447
Civil plenary. Reverses order dismissing Babchuk’s complaint of breach of contract for failure to prosecute under Trial Rule 41(E).  While the trial court would have had discretion to dismiss Babchuk’s case for failure to prosecute had a timely motion been filed, the hospital did not file its motion to dismiss before Babchuk had resumed prosecution of his case. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions April 21, 2015

April 21, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Kenneth Sandidge
14-1492
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms four-level enhancement for conviction of felon in possession of a firearm because it was in connection with another felony, and denial of three-level reduction for accepting responsibility. Remands to the trial court to vacate conditions of supervised release, which in accord with recent 7th Circuit holdings must be imposed to fit the particular circumstances of the defendant being sentenced.
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Opinions April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Stephen F. Smith v. Foegley Landscape, Inc.
71A03-1405-SC-169
Small Claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Foegley Landscape but reverses $1,500 award for attorney fees. Finds the small claims court did not have any documentation to properly evaluate the reasonableness of the fees. Remands to the small claims court to hold a hearing and determine the reasonable attorney fees.
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Opinions April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Angelique Lockett and Lanetra Lockett v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., and Cathy McGee
45A05-1407-CT-340
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Planned Parenthood on a malpractice claim, but remands to the trial court to correct the order of judgment for defendants to show that McGee, who provided identification to a 17-year-old to obtain an abortion without parental consent, is not dismissed as a defendant.
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Opinions April 16, 2015

April 16, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
James Satterfield v. State of Indiana
49A02-1409-CR-659
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to let bail following Satterfield’s arrest and charge for murder. Although Statterfield forfeited his right to appeal by not filing the notice of appeal within 30 days of the trial court order, the COA concluded his appeal deserves a determination on the merits. Remands for new hearing so Satterfield can present evidence of self-defense.
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Opinions April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015
Joseph E. Corcoran v. Ron Neal, superintendent
13-1318
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Civil. Affirms denial of writ for federal habeas relief from death penalty. The Indiana Supreme Court held that the trial judge did not rely on nonstatutory aggravating factors, and that determination was not unreasonable. The Supreme Court also reasonably determined that the trial judge considered all proffered evidence in mitigation.
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Opinions April 14, 2015

April 14, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Think Tank Software Development Corp., d/b/a Think Tank Networking Tech. Group and Think Tank Info. Systems v. Chester, Inc., Mike Heinhold, John Mario, Joel Parker, Thomas Guelinas, et al.
64A03-1404-PL-134
Civil plenary. Affirms directed verdict in favor of Chester Inc. and other defendants on Think Tank’s claim for misappropriation of trade secrets. Also finds the trial court correctly determined that Think Tank’s non-solicitation claim was barred.
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Opinions April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Israel Munoz v. Jerome Woroszylo
79A02-1409-CT-679
Civil tort. Affirms denial of Munoz’s motion to dismiss Woroszylo’s lawsuit stemming from a car accident filed in Tippecanoe County after the case was dismissed from Illinois federal court for lack of personal jurisdiction. There is no intent that Worosyzlo filed his suit in Illinois with intent to abuse judicial process or create undue delay and his decision to file in Indiana state court is allowed under the Journey’s Account Statute.
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Opinions April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015
Indiana Tax Court
ESPN Productions, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1312-TA-76
Tax. Grants in part and denies in part ESPN’s request to place certain documents within the judicial record under seal. Holds that the tax returns, production services agreement, and cable television license agreements submitted by the company as designated evidence in support of its motion for summary judgment are protected from public disclosure under both Access to Public Records Act and Administrative Rule 9(G)(2). That protection does not extend to ESPN’s supplement to protest.
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Opinions April 9, 2015

April 9, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
Cohen & Malad, LLP v. John P. Daly, Jr., Golitko & Daly, P.C., and Golitko Legal Group, P.C.
29S02-1504-PL-165
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of quantum meruit relief to Cohen & Malad for part of the contingent fees earned in cases that where first handled by C&M attorneys and later by Daly and his firm after he left C&M.
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Opinions April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Mark Bozovich
14-1435
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiracy to distribute heroin and 235-month prison sentence. The District judge made a clear credibility finding and otherwise carefully scrutinized the drug quantity evidence. Finds that by testifying on direct about his heroin purchasing habits and motives for his purchases, Bozovich opened himself up for cross-examination as to those topics.
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Opinions April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Glenn Sciaraffa v. State of Indiana
09A04-1410-CR-470
Criminal. Affirms conviction for dealing in methamphetamine, a Class B felony; maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony; possession of paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor; and an adjudication as a habitual substance offender. Finds no fundamental error occurred during the admission of presumptive positive test and rules the state’s closing arguments fell within the bounds of prosecutorial advocacy. Also holds the state presented sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain Sciaraffa’s conviction for dealing in methamphetamine.
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Opinions April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Demetrius L. Grant, and Vickie O. Grant v. The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co.
49A05-1404-MF-139
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses and remands a grant of summary judgment in favor of Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co., and remands with instructions to dismiss the case. By refiling a suit that had been dismissed under Trial Rule 41(E) for failing to prosecute, the bank violated the rule and the doctrine of res judicata, since dismissal under T.R. 41(E), unless otherwise specified, operates as a judgment on the merits and dismissal with prejudice. 
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Opinions April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nicholas A. Rushlow v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A03-1408-CR-310
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for Class A felony attempted murder and Class C felony criminal recklessness.
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Opinions April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015
United States of America v. Christian J. Miller, Frank Jordan, and Joshua N. Bowser
14-1237, 14-1585, and 14-1592
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms judgments against defendants for various criminal charges, including wire fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Bowser’s case is remanded for further consideration of the term of his supervised release authorizing suspicionless searches.
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Opinions March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Berthal O. Williams and Patricia Williams v. The Indiana Rail Road Company
77A04-1311-CC-580
Civil collection. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Rail Road Company on the Williamses’ attempt to enforce a 1901 indenture regarding a dam on their property. Concludes the indenture was a covenant running with the land, that the terms set forth in the indenture required IRR to maintain the dam and the water level at a specific depth, and that it contained a covenant, perpetual in nature, that did not cease upon a prior breach. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
In re: Indiana State Fair Litigation: Polet, et al. v. Mid-America Sound, et. al.
49A02-1404-CT-288
Civil tort. Majority reverses trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of the Indiana State Fair Commission on Mid-America Sound’s claim that its contract requires the commission to indemnify it against claims from the 2011 State Fair stage collapse that killed and injured patrons. The majority held the Indiana Tort Claims Act does not apply and there are genuine issues of material fact regarding the validity and enforceability of the indemnification agreement. Remands for trial. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented and would find the commission has immunity from Mid-America’s claims and that the Tort Claims Act applies.
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  1. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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