Opinions March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Phillip Jackson and Deborah Jackson v. Bank of America Corp., et al.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of the Jacksons’ action to quiet title and claims that all or some of the defendants negligently evaluated the Jacksons’ ability to repay the loan and that the loan contract was substantively and procedurally unconscionable. The Jacksons can’t show that the institutions actually owed them a duty, and they failed to allege facts that would support any unconscionability determination in Indiana.


Opinions March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of G.P., and J.A. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services

Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. Mother J.A.’s due process rights were not violated, and there was sufficient evidence to support the termination.

Opinions March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence J. Fuqua v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class D felonies possession of a controlled substance and dealing in marijuana, and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. The investigating detectives had reasonable suspicion to search Fuqua’s trash, and the subsequent search warrant was supported by probable cause. The trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant.

Opinions March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Teresa Meredith, et al. v. Mike Pence, et al.
Civil plenary/school vouchers. Affirms constitutionality of Indiana’s Choice Scholarship program, affirming a trial court’s grant of summary judgment for state defendants in a suit in which plaintiffs claimed the voucher program violated state Constitution provisions on education and religious liberties. The court held that the voucher plan is within the Legislature’s power under Article 8, Section 1, and that the enacted program does not violate either Section 4 or Section 6 of Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution.

Opinions March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Maria Upham, as Surviving Spouse and Personal Rep. of the Estate of Wilbur A. Upham, Deceased v. Morgan County Hospital, Richard J. Eisenhut, M.D., Unity Physicians, Kendrick Family Practice, et al.
Civil tort/malpractice. Affirms jury verdict in favor of the hospital, holding that Upham’s counsel failed to request an admonishment and therefore waived the argument that the court should have declared a mistrial because of a prospective juror’s comments that plaintiff’s counsel was motivated by money. There was no abuse of discretion in jury instructions or in the court’s limiting of discovery. 

Opinions March 22, 2013

March 22, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
F.G. v. B.G. (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s denial of father F.G.’s motion to set aside decree establishing paternity and for DNA testing regarding paternity of one of his children.

Opinions March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013
Todd J. Crider v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses in part the sentencing order that Crider’s habitual offender enhancement in a White County case be served consecutively to the habitual offender enhancement in a case from Tippecanoe County. Concludes that the waiver of the right to appeal contained in the plea agreement is unenforceable where the sentence imposed is contrary to law and the defendant did not bargain for the sentence.

Opinions March 20, 2013

March 20, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. I.T.
Juvenile. Dismisses state’s appeal from the juvenile court’s order rescinding its prior approval of a delinquency petition filed against I.T. Concludes sua sponte that the state is without authority to appeal a juvenile court’s order withdrawing its approval of the filing of a delinquency petition.

Opinions March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Frontier Insurance Company v. J. Roe Hitchcock, Timothy S. Durham and Terry G. Whitesell
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms order the guarantors Hitchcock, Durham and Whitesell deposit with the clerk more than $1.5 million regarding a surety bond issued by Frontier Insurance. The guarantors must keep their promise to post collateral on Frontier’s demand.

Opinions March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Carmeuse Lime & Stone and Carmeuse Lime, Inc. v. Illini State Trucking, Inc.
Civil collection. Affirms the trial court order dismissing Carmeuse Lime & Stone’s and Carmeuse Lime Inc.’s complaint in favor of Illini State Trucking, Inc. regarding indemnification. Illini did not waive its ability to raise the forum selection clause with the court.

Opinions March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Meriwether v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class D felony possession of paraphernalia. The trial court did not commit fundamental error when it admitted Meriwether’s statement into evidence because he was not in custody when he made it.

Opinions March 14, 2013

March 14, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Bowser v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Bowser’s motion for severance and there is sufficient evidence to sustain the convictions.

Opinions March 13, 2013

March 13, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kelly S. Thomas v. Dushan Zatecky, superintendent, Pendleton Correctional Facility
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Denies Thomas’ request that he be allowed collateral relief to file appeals without regard to the fees required by Section 1913 and the resolutions of the Judicial Conference. Gives Thomas 21 days to file in the 7th Circuit a motion for permission to proceed in forma pauperis and a certificate of appealability. Failure to meet this schedule will result in dismissal for failure to prosecute.


Opinions March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Curtis A. Bethea v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms trial court denial of post-conviction relief, holding that Curtis Bethea, who pleaded guilty to armed robbery and criminal confinement in a deal that dropped seven other felony counts, was not improperly denied post-conviction relief when a judge considered evidence of charges that were dismissed.


Opinions March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bay Colony Civic Corporation v. Pearl Gasper Trust and Bruce F. Waller
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling in favor of Gasper and Waller, holding that a public easement to a reservoir also grants access to the water and not just to the land adjacent to the water, and that a neighborhood association did not violate its bylaws by spending money to improve access to the lake for residents. Remands to the trial court to grant the association’s motion for partial summary judgment.

Opinions March 8, 2013

March 8, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Supervised Estate of Evelyn Garrard; Ronald Garrard v. Debra L. Teibel and Douglas Grimmer and Debra Lindsay
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgments in favor of Teibel, Grimmer and Lindsay, holding that Garrard had waived all issues on appeal and failed to show an issue of material fact existed. The court also warned Garrard about language in pleadings that disparaged other parties to the litigation and the bench.


Opinions March 7, 2013

March 7, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re: Visitation M.L.B.: K.J.R. v. M.A.B.
Miscellaneous. Rules despite the trial court’s ample “best interests” findings, the lack of findings on the other three factors, both standing alone and as compounded by the extensive visitation awarded without those necessary findings, violates Mother’s fundamental right to direct M.L.B.’s upbringing. Remands for a new entry of findings and conclusions revealing the court’s consideration of all four McCune/K.I. factors, without a new hearing.

Opinions March 6, 2013

March 6, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Holiday Hospitality Franchising, Inc. v. Amco Insurance Company
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Amco Insurance Co. on its motion for declaratory judgment to enforce its reading of the insurance contract with the hotel disclaiming coverage for, and its duty to defend against, a civil complaint brought by a motel guest molested by an off-duty motel employee. The facts of the case reflect precisely the sort of scenario contemplated by the parties to be excluded from coverage when they agreed to the insurance contract. Chief Justice Dickson concurs and Justice Rucker dissents.

Opinions March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Williams, Jr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class B felonies burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary, and Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license. Williams’ trial counsel’s performance was deficient by failing to object under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b) to the admission of evidence of William’s previous bad acts and convictions. Remands for a new trial.


Opinions March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Securities and Exchange Commission v. First Choice Management Services Inc., et al.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Affirms $600,000 sanction against SonCo for contempt of court by not following a court order. The $600,000 is actually a gross understatement of the harm caused by SonCo’s contempt for failing to take over operation of Alco’s wells within 90 days as ordered.

Opinions Feb. 28, 2013

February 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Verdyer Clark v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Grants rehearing for clarification and affirms in all respects. Holds that the determination whether the age of a perpetrator is relevant to a child victim’s medical diagnosis or treatment is best left to another case.

Opinions Feb. 27, 2013

February 27, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lamont Holloway v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft. The evidence was sufficient to support the convictions.

Opinions Feb. 26, 2013

February 26, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Paul M. Brock v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court sentence of 12 years on convictions of Class C felony auto theft; Class D felony intimidation; Class A misdemeanors resisting law enforcement, striking a law enforcement animal, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated; and a habitual offender enhancement. The court held that the sentence was not impermissible double enhancement, was not inappropriate, and that the court did not abuse its discretion when it considered Brock’s prior behavior while incarcerated.

Opinions Feb. 25, 2013

February 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jose Maldonado-Morales v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Class D felony conviction of domestic battery, ruling that a jury instruction on the doctrine of transferred intent was not an abuse of discretion and that the state was not required to prove that Maldonado-Morales knowingly or intentionally struck his ex-wife in the presence of their child.  


Opinions Feb. 22, 2013

February 22, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
K.W. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Affirms Court of Appeals reversal of trial court ruling designating K.W. a delinquent for resisting law enforcement, and orders the delinquency adjudication vacated. Justices held that evidence was insufficient that K.W. acted “forcibly” to resist a school resource officer when he pulled away as the officer was attempting to handcuff him.
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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.