Opinions

Opinions Nov. 14, 2013

November 14, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Darliss Wert and Gary Wert v. Meridian Security Insurance Company
15A01-1306-CT-252
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.
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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
09S00-1307-PL-476
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.
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Opinions Nov. 12, 2013

November 12, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
James Edward Banks, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1301-CR-38
Criminal. Affirms denial of Banks’ motion to correct erroneous sentence.
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Opinions Nov. 11, 2013

November 11, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
William D. Grote III et al, v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al.
13-1077
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.
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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
48A05-1303-CC-110
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.
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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.
49A05-1305-PL-213
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.
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Opinions Nov. 6, 2013

November 6, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kimberly Kubina v. State of Indiana
45A03-1303-CR-100
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.
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Opinions Nov. 5, 2013

November 5, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Jason Wilson v. Kelly (Wilson) Myers
71S03-1305-DR-399
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.
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Opinions Nov. 4, 2013

November 4, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Christian Serino v. Alec Hensley and City of Oakland City, Indiana
13-1058
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.
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Opinions Nov. 1, 2013

November 1, 2013
Tax Court
Virginia Garwood v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue.
82T10-1208-TA-46
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.
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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
13-1821
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.
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Opinions Oct. 30, 2013

October 30, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eric Danner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1304-PC-146
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.
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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
93A02-1304-EX-303
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.
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Opinions Oct. 28, 2013

October 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Chaunsey L. Fox v. State of Indiana
71A04-1304-CR-187
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.
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Opinions Oct. 25, 2013

October 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael A. Lane v. State of Indiana
82A05-1212-CR-640
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.
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Opinions Oct. 24, 2013

October 24, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gregory Dickens v. State of Indiana
71A03-1304-PC-101
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.
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Opinions Oct. 23, 2013

October 23, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Phillip Griffin v. State of Indiana
49A02-1212-CR-964
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.
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Opinions Oct. 22, 2013

October 22, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Billy Julian v. Sam Hanna, et. al.
1:11-CV-01536
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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Opinions Oct. 18, 2013

October 18, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Floyd Weddle v. State of Indiana
73A01-1209-CR-452
Criminal. Affirms on rehearing that convictions for possession of methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine were not double jeopardy, and finding that the jury could have reasonably concluded that Weddle was in possession of methamphetamine and was in the process of manufacturing an additional amount of the drug.
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Opinions Oct. 17, 2013

October 17, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy L. Hyser v. State of Indiana
20A05-1301-CR-37
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class A felony and Class C felony child molesting. The exclusion of the evidence Hyser wished to present deprived him of a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense. The state is not barred from retrying Hyser.
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Opinions Oct. 16, 2013

October 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven R. Ott v. State of Indiana
20A05-1306-CR-270
Criminal.  Affirms denial of Ott’s motion to correct error following the trial
court’s order denying his “Verified Motion to Convert Class D Felony Conviction to a Class A Misdemeanor Pursuant to I.C. 35-50-2-7(c).”
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Opinions Oct. 15, 2013

October 15, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Judith (Lund) Pherson v. Michael Lund
52A04-1304-DR-180
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Pherson’s motion to correct error, which challenged a post-dissolution order in response to a motion by Lund for clarification of a pension-fund provision of a property settlement agreement incorporated into a divorce decree. The pension contributions in the 18 ½ years since the dissolution were after-acquired property beyond the scope of the settlement agreement to divide.
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Opinions Oct. 14, 2013

October 14, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Richard Brown
12-3313
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division. Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Criminal. Affirms 60-month total sentence following guilty plea to one count each of wire fraud, mail fraud and tax fraud. The sentencing beyond the advisory guidelines sentencing range is reasonable when considered in light of the court’s oral pronouncement of the sentence.
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Opinions Oct. 11, 2013

October 11, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Medtronic, Inc., v. Lori A. Malander, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of David M. Malander, Sr., Deceased and Kathleen Malander
49A02-1211-CT-925
Civil tort. Affirms denial of Medtronic’s motion for summary judgment in an action against it by Lori Malander, individually and as the personal representative of the Estate of David Malander, deceased, and Kathleen Malander. The Medical Device Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act does not preempt the claim against Medtronic and genuine issues of material fact exist regarding whether Medtronic assumed a duty to David Malander.

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Opinions Oct. 10, 2013

October 10, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of E.T., D.T., L.T., and Y.T., Minor Children: M.T., v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services and Lake County Court Appointed Special Advocate
45A03-1302-JT-49
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. The mother has not demonstrated that the trial court clearly erred when it determined that continuation of the parent-child relationship with the children poses a threat to their well-being. Nor has she shown that termination is not in the best interest of the children or that the court erred when it determined that adoption is a satisfactory plan following the terminations.
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  1. Actually, and most strikingly, the ruling failed to address the central issue to the whole case: Namely, Black Knight/LPS, who was NEVER a party to the State court litigation, and who is under a 2013 consent judgment in Indiana (where it has stipulated to the forgery of loan documents, the ones specifically at issue in my case)never disclosed itself in State court or remediated the forged loan documents as was REQUIRED of them by the CJ. In essence, what the court is willfully ignoring, is that it is setting a precedent that the supplier of a defective product, one whom is under a consent judgment stipulating to such, and under obligation to remediate said defective product, can: 1.) Ignore the CJ 2.) Allow counsel to commit fraud on the state court 3.) Then try to hide behind Rooker Feldman doctrine as a bar to being held culpable in federal court. The problem here is the court is in direct conflict with its own ruling(s) in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings & Iqbal- 780 F.3d 728, at 730 “What Johnson adds - what the defendants in this suit have failed to appreciate—is that federal courts retain jurisdiction to award damages for fraud that imposes extrajudicial injury. The Supreme Court drew that very line in Exxon Mobil ... Iqbal alleges that the defendants conducted a racketeering enterprise that predates the state court’s judgments ...but Exxon Mobil shows that the Rooker Feldman doctrine asks what injury the plaintiff asks the federal court to redress, not whether the injury is “intertwined” with something else …Because Iqbal seeks damages for activity that (he alleges) predates the state litigation and caused injury independently of it, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not block this suit. It must be reinstated.” So, as I already noted to others, I now have the chance to bring my case to SCOTUS; the ruling by Wood & Posner is flawed on numerous levels,BUT most troubling is the fact that the authors KNOW it's a flawed ruling and choose to ignore the flaws for one simple reason: The courts have decided to agree with former AG Eric Holder that national banks "Are too big to fail" and must win at any cost-even that of due process, case precedent, & the truth....Let's see if SCOTUS wants a bite at the apple.

  2. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  3. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Please I need help with my class action lawsuits, im currently in pro-se and im having hard time findiNG A LAWYER TO ASSIST ME

  5. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

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