Opinions

Opinions May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Stacy Smith and Robert Smith, Individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Johnny Dupree Smith, Deceased v. Delta Tau Delta, Inc. and Beta Psi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta, et al.
54S01-1405-CT-356
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of national fraternity Delta Tau Delta on the Smiths’ wrongful death complaint. There is no designated evidentiary material that shows that the national fraternity had a right to exercise direct day-to-day oversight and control of the behavior of the activities of the local fraternity and its members. Concludes as a matter of law that an agency relationship does not exist between the national fraternity and the local fraternity or its members.
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Opinions May 28, 2014

May 28, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joshua Bunn v. Khoury Enterprises Inc.
13-2292
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Bunn’s former employer, a Dairy Queen franchise, on his claims that his employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Bunn’s failure-to-accommodate claim falls short because his employer did reasonably accommodate his disability. His disparate treatment claim fails because he has not introduced sufficient evidence to create a triable issue of material fact and because the undisputed facts show that the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
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Opinions May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Alden v. State of Indiana
30A05-1309-MI-463
Miscellaneous. Reverses denial of motion to prohibit the release of Alden’s criminal record. The trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion on the basis that the Legislature had repealed I.C. 35-38-8-3. Remands for the trial court to consider the merits of his motion.
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Opinions May 23, 2014

May 23, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Andrew J. Rogers v. Sigma Chi International Fraternity, Theta Pi of Sigma Chi, Ancil Jackson, Brian Mifflin, Jr., and Joshua Kearby
84A04-1305-CT-224
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Sigma Chi International fraternity, its Terre Haute chapter and Jackson, Mifflin and Kearby on Rogers’ claim the defendants should have protected him from being assaulted at a party. Sigma Chi did not have possession of the premises where Rogers was injured, the defendants had no duty to protect him from the assault, and the International fraternity was not vicariously liable for the acts of the persons at the premises because it had no actual or apparent authority over them.
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Opinions May 22, 2014

May 22, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Yellowbook Inc. f/k/a Yellow Book Sales and Distribution Company, Inc. v. Central Indiana Cooling and Heating, Inc. and Lawrence E. Stone a/k/a Larry Stone
30A05-1311-CC-561
Civil collection. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands with instructions. The trial court erred when it concluded that Yellow Book failed to credit certain Central Indiana Cooling and Heating payments under Contracts 1 and 2; Contract 3 was induced by fraud and is rescinded; and Yellow Book is entitled to pre-judgment interest and reasonable attorney fees for amounts owed under Contracts 1 and 2.
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Opinions May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jacob Herron v. State of Indiana
56A03-1306-CR-210
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony receiving stolen property. The jury may have relied on the impeachment evidence as substantive evidence in this case. Remands for retrial, if the state chooses. Judge Riley dissents in part, finding enough circumstantial evidence to convict Herron.
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Opinions May 20, 2014

May 20, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Adoption of J.M.: J.P. and J.M. v. R.H. and R.H.
82A01-1309-AD-404
Adoption. Affirms trial court’s judgment that the natural parents’ consent was not necessary in the adoption of their child, J.M. Concludes the trial court did not err when it held a consent hearing which essentially terminated the rights of the natural parents. Also finds the trial court did consider the best interests of the child and that the trial court did not need to consider the natural parents’ fitness at the time of the consent hearing and again at the adoption hearing. 
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Opinions May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014
Indiana Tax Court
Van Buren Township, Madison County, Boone Township, Madison County, The Summitville Fire Protection Territory v. Department of Local Government Finance
49T10-1104-TA-27
Tax. Affirms Department of Local Government Finance denial of creation of the Summitville Fire Protection Territory because of defects in a legal advertisement to provide notice of a public hearing at which two townships proposed creation of the fire district and its authority to levy taxes. The court rejected arguments that each township published notice of the meeting on the same day in the same newspaper, so therefore a reasonable person would not have been misled by the defective legal notice.
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Opinions May 16, 2014

May 16, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Steven B. Geller
49S00-1106-DI-318
Attorney discipline. Disbars Geller for 12 violations of the Rules of Professional conduct, including violations arising from his physical confrontation at the courthouse with an ex-client who he believed owed him money. Disbarment is warranted in light of Geller’s history of misconduct, unsuccessful prior attempt at rehabilitation, inability to manage anger, and dishonesty toward the Court and the Disciplinary Commission. Justice Mark Massa concurred in part and dissented in part and would have recommended a three-year suspension without automatic reinstatement.
 
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Opinions May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014
Indiana Tax Court
Hoosier Roll Shop Services, LLC v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1104-TA-29
Tax. Grants summary judgment in favor of Hoosier Roll and against the Department of State Revenue. Finds Hoosier Roll produces other tangible personal property when it grinds and calibrates its customers’ work rolls.
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Opinions May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. Tammy Sue Harper
79S02-1405-CR-334
Criminal. Affirms grant of Harper’s motion for a sentence modification sought more than 365 days after she was originally sentenced. The prosecutor’s conduct and communications adequately conveyed the “approval of the prosecuting attorney” required in I.C. 35-38-1-17(b).
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Opinions May 13, 2014

May 13, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In re Mental Health Actions for A.S., Sara Townsend
10S01-1402-MH-113
Mental health. Reverses finding that Sara Townsend was in indirect civil contempt after completing an application to initiate immediate emergency treatment for her co-worker, A.S. The trial court lacked statutory authority to find her in contempt and her actions did not place her under the trial court’s authority to impose sanctions as an inherent power of the judiciary.
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Opinions May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014
Indiana Tax Court
West Ohio II, LLC v. Marion County Assessor, Marion County Treasurer, and Marion County Auditor
49T10-1404-TA-9
Tax. Grants the county’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction West Ohio II’s petition asking the Tax Court to enjoin the collection of property taxes related to a disputed portion of its $39 million assessment. Injunctive relief cannot be granted before an original tax appeal has been initiated.
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Opinions May 9, 2014

May 9, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Advanced Tactical Ordnance Systems Inc. v. Real Action Paintball Inc. and K.T. Tran
13-3005
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Reverses finding that the court has personal jurisdiction and that Advanced Technical was entitled to a preliminary injunction. Remands with directions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. There is no evidence that defendant Real Action has the necessary minimum contacts with Indiana to support specific jurisdiction.
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Opinions May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Belinda Douglas v. Neil Spicer and L.S.
32A01-1309-JP-403
Juvenile. Affirms order that Spicer pay $6,600 in back child support. The trial court did not err when it determined that father’s court-ordered child support obligation terminated after 33 weeks in October 2005.
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Opinions May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Mayor Gregory Ballard v. Maggie Lewis, John Barth, and Vernon Brown
49S00-1311-PL-716
Civil plenary. Reverses partial summary judgment to Maggie Lewis, holding Mayor Greg Ballard is entitled to summary judgment on redistricting ordinance issue. Justices exercise judicial restraint and leave redistricting in the hands of the two branches of local government responsible for the task. Also reverses any order requiring Ballard to pay part of the cost of a master brought in on the issue.
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Opinions May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Cung Hnin v. TOA (USA), LLC
13-3658
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of TOA on Cung Hnin’s claims of discrimination based on national origin and retaliation after his firing from TOA. Hnin presented no evidence suggesting TOA officials did not believe their reasons for firing him after employees raised concerns about his behavior. Likewise, Hnin had not presented circumstantial evidence that would permit a jury to infer that TOA retaliated against him for voicing his concerns about the promotion of ethnic Chin workers.
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Opinions May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014
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Opinions May 2, 2014

May 2, 2014
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sarah E. Frey, Kevin Enright and Protect Our Woods Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency and Gina McCarthy, Administrator
13-2142
Civil. Affirms District Court rulings of summary judgment in favor of EPA and denial of motion for U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard Young to disqualify himself based on prior rulings. Young correctly found plaintiffs’ motions were moot because a Bloomington PCB cleanup is ongoing, because plaintiffs are not prevailing parties or parties to the original consent decree, and as such they also are not entitled to attorney fees. Young’s decision not to disqualify himself did not deny plaintiffs due process.
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Opinions May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Alva Electric, Inc., Arc Construction Co., Inc., Danco Construction, Inc., Deig Bros. Lumber & Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation and EVSC Foundation, Inc.
82S01-1307-PL-473
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the antitrust claim. Reverses summary judgment for the defendants on the issue of a public bidding violation. Holds the procedure employed by the school corporation to renovate one of its buildings violated Indiana’s Public Work Statute, but not the Antitrust Act. Remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of the taxpayers who brought the lawsuit as well as a declaration that the transactions by the school corporation violated the Public Work Statute.
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Opinions April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. James V. Carroll
13-2600
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress following Carroll’s guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography and six counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The information in the detective’s affidavit was sufficient to establish fair probability that the computer or other digital storage devices within Carroll’s home would contain evidence of child pornography or exploitation of a child, despite the fact that the photographs were taken approximately five years earlier.
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Opinions April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Karl N. Truman
10S00-1401-DI-55
Attorney discipline. Issues a public reprimand for violation of Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 5.6(a) by making an employment agreement that restricted the rights of a former associate to practice after termination of the employment relationship. The court also accepted the parties’ stipulation that Truman violated Rule 1.4(b), failure to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit client to make informed decisions regarding representation.
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Opinions April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
John M. Weidman v. State of Indiana
03A01-1306-CR-255
Criminal. Affirms 14-year sentence following guilty pleas in two separate causes. Weidman specifically agreed in his plea agreement that he was not entitled to credit for the time he was on electronic monitoring as a condition of his release on bond. Accordingly, he may not now claim that he was entitled to credit for the time he was on electronic monitoring.
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Opinions April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marvin Garner v. State of Indiana
49A02-1310-CR-834
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 60-year sentence for four counts of Class A felony child molesting. His offenses were committed against multiple victims and against the same victims repeatedly, and his victims were young and he abused this position of trust.
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Opinions April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Donnetta Newell v. State of Indiana
49A02-1309-CR-744
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor intimidation conviction. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of the incident that led to Newell’s eviction and there is sufficient evidence for the finder of fact to conclude that Newell knew her statement to a security guard would be transmitted to the subject of her threat.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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