Opinions Nov. 25, 2013

November 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
James L. Graham v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Vacates a purported habitual offender enhancement and affirms the three-year aggregate sentence following guilty pleas to Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Class A misdemeanor operating with suspended license and Class B misdemeanor false informing.

Opinions Nov. 22, 2013

November 22, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Harold O. Fulp, Jr. v. Nancy A. Gilliland
Trust. Reverses denial of specific performance of the purchase agreement to Harold Fulp Jr. Under the terms of the trust and the Trust Code, Ruth Fulp owed her children no fiduciary duties and was free to sell her farm at less than fair market value; Harold Fulp Jr. is therefore entitled to specific performance. Concludes that Ruth Fulp did not effectively amend the trust by selling the farm.

Opinions Nov. 21, 2013

November 21, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
B.R., a Minor, by his Guardian, Teresa Todd v. State of Indiana, Indiana Department of Child Services, Morgan County Office of Department of Child Services, and Adult and Child Mental Health Center
Civil tort. Reverses grant of Adult and Child Mental Health Center’s Trial Rule 12(B)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The allegations in B.R.’s complaint, i.e. that his case manager negligently placed him with the respite therapeutic foster parents and negligently failed to inform the foster parents that B.R. was an overly active child known to run from adults and escape his home, are not directly related to any medical care B.R. received from the Health Center. Furthermore, the foster care placement was not made by a health care professional. Because B.R.’s claims sound in general negligence, his claims fall outside the Medical Malpractice Act.

Opinions Nov. 20, 2013

November 20, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Clifford and Judith Ann Garrett v. Paul and Linda Spear
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for the Spears on their claims of title by acquiescence and adverse possession and denial of summary judgment for the Garrets. The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment based upon the doctrine of title by acquiescence.

Opinions Nov. 19, 2013

November 19, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Gersh Zavodnik v. Michela Rinaldi, et al
Civil tort. Reverses order of dismissal and remands to the trial court for further proceedings without prejudice to dismissal under Trial Rule 41(E) if warranted after further consideration.

Opinions Nov. 18, 2013

November 18, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bart Whitesitt v. Town of Knightstown
Miscellaneous. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the town of Knightstown. Holds although Indiana Code 33-35-1-1 only allows a second- or third-class city to abolish a local town court every fourth year,  Knightstown did not violate the state statute because its town court was established in 1970 and is, therefore, exempt from the four-year restriction.

Opinions Nov. 16, 2013

November 15, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Patrick Austin v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 45-year sentence for two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. A traffic stop and canine search that led to the discovery of nearly 90 pounds of cocaine hidden in a semi-truck was not unreasonable, and the trial court’s decision to continue Austin’s trial beyond the 70-day speedy trial window due to court congestion was not clearly erroneous.


Opinions Nov. 14, 2013

November 14, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Darliss Wert and Gary Wert v. Meridian Security Insurance Company
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the insurance company on the Werts’ underinsured-motorist claim. Provisions in the insurance contract, when read together, make it unclear when the Werts should have filed a lawsuit to preserve their claim and may completely foreclose their ability to file a lawsuit.

Opinions Nov. 13, 2013

November 13, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Julie Kitchell v. Ted Franklin, as the Mayor of the City of Logansport, and the Common Council of the City of Logansport
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court dismissal of a suit challenging the city’s planned public-private partnership to convert a coal-fired power plant to generate electricity by burning refuse. Justices held that the Indiana Public-Private Agreements statute does not require a local legislative body to adopt an enabling statute before it may issue requests for proposals or begin contract negotiations.

Opinions Nov. 12, 2013

November 12, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
James Edward Banks, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of Banks’ motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Opinions Nov. 11, 2013

November 11, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
William D. Grote III et al, v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al.
Reverses and remands to the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana with orders to grant an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the “contraception mandate” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The majority held that Grote Industries made a strong case for relief from the mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but Judge Ilana Rovner warned that the panel was rewriting the law to extend rights of religion to a for-profit, secular corporation, thereby opening a host of federal regulations to religious challenges from corporation owners.

Opinions Nov. 8, 2013

November 8, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Hitesh Seth v. Midland Funding, LLC, as an Assignee of Columbus Bank and Trust as Issuer of Aspire Visa
Civil collection. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Midland Funding LLC on Midland’s complaint against Seth for nonpayment of credit card debt. Midland has failed as a matter of law to designate evidence to make a prima facie case that it is entitled to summary judgment on its complaint. Accordingly, the burden of proof did not shift to Seth to show that there exist questions of material fact precluding summary judgment.

Opinions Nov. 7, 2013

November 7, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Debra Minott, Faith Laird, Patti Bailey v. Lee Alan Bryant Health Care Facilities, Inc.; Parkview Residential Care Center, L.L.C.; Parke County Residential Care Center, L.L.C., et al.
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of state’s request for restitution for damages paid. The Nov. 8 order was not a final judgment because it did not address the issue of restitution. Holds the law firms and creditor banks in this case are judgment creditors. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Nov. 6, 2013

November 6, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kimberly Kubina v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms 35-year sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony neglect of a dependent. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding Kubina was in a position of trust with her stepson.

Opinions Nov. 5, 2013

November 5, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Jason Wilson v. Kelly (Wilson) Myers
Domestic relation. Reverses modification of custody. Finds an abuse of discretion in the way this modification was carried out and ordered as it never mentioned whether the modification was in the best interest of the children or noted any substantial change in any of the factors enumerated in I.C. 31-17-2-8. Orders an evidentiary hearing and inquiry into in-camera interviews. Since the two children have already been pulled from their Indiana school system and are attending school in Michigan, this status quo should continue until further order of the court as to minimize further disruption to the kids.

Opinions Nov. 4, 2013

November 4, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Christian Serino v. Alec Hensley and City of Oakland City, Indiana
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Serino’s lawsuit for federal claims of false arrest and malicious prosecution and Indiana tort claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Serino’s claims are time-barred; his federal malicious prosecution claim failed to state a constitutional violation independent of his time-barred false arrest claim, and his state law claims for malicious prosecution and IIED were barred by the defendants’ immunity under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

Opinions Nov. 1, 2013

November 1, 2013
Tax Court
Virginia Garwood v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue.
Denies state motion to dismiss Garwood’s claim that she is entitled to a refund of $122,684, the value of animals and property seized from an alleged ‘puppy mill’ through the use of jeopardy tax warrants that were voided by prior court rulings. The court ruled it has jurisdiction because the matter arises under tax law and that Garwood properly filed claims with the Department of State Revenue that led to the litigation.

Opinions Oct. 31, 2013

October 31, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mark Suesz, individually and on behalf of a class v. Med-1 Solutions LLC
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Suesz’s complaint that Med-1 Solutions violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after obtaining a favorable judgment against him in Marion County Small Claims Court in Pike Township because he neither lived nor signed the contract in that township. Small claim courts are not judicial districts for purposes of the FDCPA. Judge Posner dissents.

Opinions Oct. 30, 2013

October 30, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eric Danner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Opinions Oct. 29, 2013

October 29, 2013
Shawn Telligman v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Indiana Department of Workforce Development Unemployment Insurance Claims Adjudication
Agency action. Affirms ruling in favor of the IDWD’s claim that Telligman failed to disclose or falsified information to IDWD in order to receive unemployment benefits. The ALJ and review board did not err in finding that Telligman knowingly failed to disclose or falsified facts that would disqualify him from receiving benefits, reduce his benefits, or render him ineligible for benefits or extended benefits, and in finding him liable to repay IDWD the benefit overpayment amounts together with applicable penalties and interest. The board did not abuse its discretion in denying his request to submit additional evidence.

Opinions Oct. 28, 2013

October 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Chaunsey L. Fox v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms felony murder conviction. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Fox’s motion to dismiss and allowing the jury to determine the issue of credibility and answer the question of who was telling the truth.

Opinions Oct. 25, 2013

October 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael A. Lane v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder, Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in a schedule II controlled substance, and two counts of Class C felony criminal recklessness. Holds an instruction on reckless homicide was not warranted and that brief testimonial hearsay evidence admitted was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Opinions Oct. 24, 2013

October 24, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gregory Dickens v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief seeking new trial for murder of a police officer. Dickens was not entitled to a new trial in light of either newly discovered evidence or an alleged Brady violation. He also did not receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

Opinions Oct. 23, 2013

October 23, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Phillip Griffin v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement as the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to detain Griffin for the purpose of investigating a possible crime. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battering an officer while being placed under arrest because there is sufficient evidence Griffin was not acting in self-defense. Also reverses order to perform community services and remands to address the question of payment of costs. Judge Mathias concurs in separate opinion; Judge Bailey concurs in part and dissents in part.

Opinions Oct. 22, 2013

October 22, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Billy Julian v. Sam Hanna, et. al.
Criminal. Reverses District Court grant of summary judgment to defendant parties in a malicious prosecution case and remands for further proceedings, holding that Billy Julian’s claim was improperly dismissed as untimely. The panel held that the two-year window for the claim did not begin until November 2010, when charges against him were dismissed, and therefore filing of the claim in July 2011 was timely.
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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.