Opinions

Opinions April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael K. Wethington v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A01-1009-CR-481
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a motor vehicle while an habitual traffic violator.
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Opinions April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
James Stewart v. State of Indiana
49A04-1001-CR-48
Criminal. Vacates Class C felony robbery conviction and corresponding four-year sentence because Stewart’s convictions for both felony murder and the underlying felony of robbery violate the prohibitions of double jeopardy. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support Stewart’s convictions of seven counts of felony murder, six counts of criminal confinement as Class B felonies, Class B felony burglary, Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license, and adjudication as a habitual offender. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding certain hearsay statements or by admitting certain photographs, and Stewart isn’t entitled to the procedural protections of the Life Without Parole Statute. Judge Bradford concurs in part and concurs in result in part.
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Opinions April 15, 2011

April 15, 2011
Heather Schrock v. Marion Schrock
20A03-1009-DR-484
Domestic relation. Vacates trial court’s belated order because it was made void by the instant appeal. Marion is able to proceed by cross-appeal to obtain appellate review of the issues raised in his motion to correct error as set forth in a footnote in Cavinder Elevators and in HomeEq. Reverses in part the dissolution order.
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Opinions April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Diane Werner v. Gregory Werner

46A03-1008-DR-447
Domestic relation. Affirms order finding it would be in the children’s best interest for their father to be their primary physical custodian and awarding mother parenting time. Diane Werner waived her argument that the court used the wrong standard in determining whether to modify custody because she didn’t object at the custody hearing. The trial court’s findings are sufficient to support its judgment under the “best interests” standard. Judge Kirsch dissents.
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Opinions April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas M. Grimes v. Victoria Crockrom, et al.
45A03-1008-CT-491
Civil tort. Affirms order that Grimes, Crockrom’s former attorney, produce Crockrom’s medical records he obtained while he was representing her. The trial court erred when it did so without first providing for the security of the attorney fees owed. Grimes has a valid retaining lien over Crockrom’s medical records. Remands with instructions that the court determine how much in attorney fees Grimes is owed and then order Crockrom to provide security for the payment of those fees.
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Opinions April 12, 2011

April 12, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cassandra Johnson and Jarrett Buse v. Anya E. Wait, et al.
82A01-0910-CV-498
Civil. Affirms the jury instruction on contributory negligence, finding sufficient evidence to support giving it. The trial court didn’t err by refusing to give the tendered instruction on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur offered by Johnson and Buse because there is a dearth of evidence as to exactly how and when Johnson’s shoulder injuries occurred. Affirms trial court allowance of a defense orthopedic expert witness to testify as to his opinions on causation.
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Opinions April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Randall Woodruff, trustee, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, on behalf of Legacy Healthcare Inc. v. Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning
29A02-1002-PL-220
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the Family and Social Services Administration on New Horizon Development Center’s $4 million quantum meruit claim. Once a provider with a long-term care facility has been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, FSSA, as the state Medicaid agency, has the primary responsibility for relocating the Medicaid patients and for ensuring their safe and orderly transfer from the old facility.
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Opinions April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Samuel D. Raisor, et al. v. Edward O. Carter, et al.
49A05-1010-CT-629
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Jimmie’s Raceway Pub, in which the trial court  found the Raisors’ action was barred by the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury actions and the amended complaint couldn’t relate back to the original filing date because Jimmie’s received notice of the action after the expiration of the 120-day period allowed under Ind. Trial Rule 15(C).
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Opinions April 7, 2011

April 7, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jeffrey P. Taylor
10-2715
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Reverses conviction of and 10-year sentence for violating 18 U.S.C. Section 2422(b), which deals with knowingly persuading or enticing someone under 18 to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so. The section is ambiguous and sexual activity and sexual act could be synonyms and therefore require contact between the perpetrator and victim for a conviction. Remands with instructions to acquit Taylor. Judge Manion concurs in a separate opinion.
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Opinions April 6, 2011

April 6, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gariup Construction Co. v. Carras-Szany-Kuhn & Associates, et al.
45A04-1007-PL-429
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the architect Carras-Szany-Kuhn and the successful bidder and denied unsuccessful bidder Gariup Construction’s claim alleging the architect; Behling & Son, the successful bidder; and others colluded to restrict bidding in violation of the Indiana Antitrust Act. The designated evidence doesn’t present a genuine issue of material fact from which a factfinder could reasonably infer that the architect and successful bidder colluded to restrict bidding. Declines to find that the architect and successful bidder are entitled to appellate attorneys fees.
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Opinions April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Stephen Radentz, et al., v. Marion County, et al.
10-1523
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses ruling from District Court in favor of defendants in discrimination lawsuit. Plaintiffs were able to support claim that their termination from employment was race-based, and did not result in significant financial gain, as the defendants claimed.
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Opinions April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Billy L. Hicks
09-3608
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Vacates conviction of knowingly distributing more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. The District Court improperly allowed evidence of Hicks' prior drug convictions in violation of Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). Remands for a new trial.

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Opinions April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Hochstetler Living Trust v. Friends of Pumpkinville Nature Trail
20A03-1009-PL-490
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s partial summary judgment in favor of Friends of Pumpkinville Nature Trail, which quieted title to a disputed tract in favor of the nature trail. Because the Plank Deed from 1899 conveyed a fee simple interest to the railroad company, the Penn Central quitclaim deed conveyed that fee simple interest to the nature trail.
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Opinions March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Antonio D. Jones v. James Basinger
09-3577
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Remands with instructions to grant writ of habeas petition. Reverses District Court's affirmation that Jones was not entitled to a habeas petition, citing U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford v. Washington. States that informant’s double-hearsay against Jones was used as substantive evidence to prove Jones’ guilt, violating his Sixth Amendment rights.
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Opinions March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tywan D. Griffin v. State of Indiana
49A02-1007-CR-774
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, ruling the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Griffin committed the charge.
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Opinions March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana
49S02-1103-CR-176
Criminal. Rules that the Indiana Court of Appeals was correct in declining Edward Dawson’s belated appeal of the trial court’s decision to revoke Dawson’s probation and impose a six-year sentence. States that the COA correctly decided that belated appeals from orders revoking probation are not presently available pursuant to Post-Conviction Rule 2, as the sanction imposed when probation is revoked does not qualify as a “sentence” under the rule.
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Opinions March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Scott C. Cole and Jennifer A. Cole v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
10-2194
U.S. Tax Court, Judge Diane L. Kroupa.
Tax. Affirms finding that the Coles omitted more than $1.2 million of income and more than $1.3 million of self-employment income from their 2001 joint tax return and that they fraudulently avoided tax liability. The Coles did not show clear error in the Tax Court’s finding that because they did not produce credible documentary or other evidence showing otherwise, that the commissioner’s reconstruction of their income was “reasonable and substantially accurate.”
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Opinions March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
William Hurt v. State of Indiana
82A04-1006-CR-414
Criminal. Affirms Hurt’s conviction of Class C felony reckless disregard of a traffic control device in a highway workzone resulting in death, ruling that Hurt had seen the traffic controls repeatedly on his several trips through the workzone, prior to the fatal crash. Reverses Hurt’s conviction for Class C felony reckless operation of a vehicle in a highway workzone resulting in death, on double jeopardy grounds.
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Opinions March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Rollie Mitchell
10-1831
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms sentence of life imprisonment for distributing cocaine base, stating the District Court properly calculated the guidelines range and did not improperly consider Mitchell’s exercise of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
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Opinions March 23, 2011

March 23, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Troy R. Smith v. State of Indiana
35A02-1008-CR-996
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s order to revoke Smith’s probation due to non-payment of weekly child support – a condition of Smith’s probation. The state failed to prove Smith knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally failed to pay weekly child support and failed to prove Smith’s ability to pay.
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Opinions March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Robert B. Long and Jason P. Edwards
09-3493, 09-3636
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms Edwards’ convictions of one count of narcotics conspiracy, two counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The government’s affidavit in support of the wiretap established necessity. Affirms Long’s sentence for the same convictions, plus one additional count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
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Opinions March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Darryl Harris v. United Water Services, Inc.
93A02-1010-EX-1164
Civil. Reverses the decision by the Full Worker’s Compensation Board affirming the grant of United Water’s motion to dismiss. Harris’ deposition testimony doesn’t support the board’s finding that he admitted that his condition stemmed from a single incident and the board applied the wrong burden of proof. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions March 18, 2011

March 18, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Dennis Jamison
10-1515
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Affirms Jamison’s conviction of possessing a sawed-off shotgun, in violation of 26 U.S.C. sections 5861(d) and 5845(a). During his trial, the district court permitted the government to elicit testimony from Jamison’s wife on cross-examination regarding Jamison’s aggressiveness. Jamison appeals his conviction, arguing that the question and his wife’s response were irrelevant, unfairly prejudicial, unduly cumulative, and lacked foundation. The government claims that the evidence demonstrated Mrs. Jamison’s bias and motive to lie.
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Opinions March 17, 2011

March 17, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
C.G. LLC v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Devel., et al.
93A02-1004-EX-441
Civil. Reverses and remands decision by Appellee Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that determined appellees/employees T.A., et al. were entitled to unemployment insurance benefits.
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Opinions March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mark Siliven, et al. v. Indiana Department of Child Services, et al.
10-2701
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms District Court conclusion that Terry Suttle, director of the Wayne County DCS, and case manager Amber Luedike were entitled to summary judgment on the federal claims on qualified immunity grounds, finding the constitutional rights allegedly violated were not clearly established in January 2008. Probable cause existed to remove C.S. from his father’s custody so there was no Fourth Amendment violation. The use of state action to protect C.S. from his father was reasonable.
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