Opinions

Opinions May 13, 2015

May 13, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
Daniel Lee Pierce v. State of Indiana
78S05-1407-CR-460
Criminal. Affirms Pierce’s convictions for molesting his three young granddaughters. Finds his abuse of the girls in his care was sufficiently connected, so he is not entitled to new and separate trials. Remands for the purpose of resentencing on one count of Class A felony child molesting because the trial court erred by suspending six years of Pierce’s 30-year sentence for that count. Justices Robert Rucker and Brent Dickson concur in a separate opinion.
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Opinions May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Michael A. Knoll and Dax G. Shephard; Appeal of: Bob Henson
14-3027
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the government on Henson’s claim he had a legal right, title or interest in the Indianapolis or Fort Wayne properties forfeited to the government after Outlaw members Knoll and Shephard pleaded guilty to racketeering charges. But Henson did not present evidence showing he had a legal right, title or interest, and his statement indicated his interest did not begin until after the raid occurred in 2012.
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Opinions May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mary K. Davis v. State of Indiana
20A03-1411-PC-408
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Orders Davis immediately released pending resolution of this appeal. The post-conviction court’s findings and conclusions were contrary to law. The state’s notice of violation was filed on the day Davis’ probation ended such that there was no period of probation to be tolled, which means the trial court could not continue her terms of probation pursuant to Ind. Code § 35-38-2-3(c).
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Opinions May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jay R. Thompson v. State of Indiana
31A01-1408-PC-350
Post conviction. Affirms grant of the state’s motion to dismiss Thompson’s post-conviction relief petition pursuant to the doctrine of laches. The state was prejudiced by his 22-year delay in prosecuting his PCR petition.
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Opinions May 7, 2015

May 7, 2015
Jonathan Grott, Sr. v. State of Indiana
64A04-1408-CR-395
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony auto theft. There is sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction, which stems from Grott's failure to return a rental car on a specific date.
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Opinions May 5, 2015

May 5, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Christopher Boultinghouse
14-2764
Chief Judge Richard Young, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Boultinghouse’s supervised release. Finds Boultinghouse knowingly and intelligently made his decision to waive his right to counsel. Vacates sentence and remands for resentencing. Rules the District Court erred by not explaining the reasons behind its decision to impose a 24-month term of imprisonment.
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Website domain dispute pulled from justices’ calendar

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a website address that had been scheduled for oral arguments Wednesday before the Indiana Supreme Court has been settled, an attorney involved in the case said.
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Opinions May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bruce Carneil Webster v. Charles A. Daniels
14-1049
Judge William T. Lawrence, District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division.
Criminal. In a 6-5 decision, En banc review reverses 7th Circuit panel judgment that new evidence can never satisfy the habeas corpus standard of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Remands for proceedings allowing Webster to present new evidence that may demonstrate categorical and constitutional ineligibility for the death penalty. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook dissented, arguing Webster’s new evidence did not meet the “clear and convincing” language required for relief. Easterbrook was joined in dissent by Circuit Judges William J. Bauer, Michael S. Kanne, Diane S. Sykes and John Tinder.
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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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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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