Opinions Oct. 24, 2012

October 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Leslie Ann Grider v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses 19-year sentence following guilty pleas to two counts of Class C felony forgery, four counts of Class D felony theft, and two counts of Class D felony check fraud. The language of the plea agreement indicates the parties’ intention that the trial court would impose concurrent sentences on all counts regardless of the separate cause numbers. Orders Grider’s sentences to be concurrent for a total of eight years.

Opinions Oct. 23, 2012

October 23, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., et al., v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, et al.
Civil. Reverses in part and affirms in part, affirming the district court injunction against I.C. 5-22-17-5.5(b) that bars state or federal funding for “any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.” The circuit court held that Medicaid grants individual rights under federal civil rights protections, but reversed the district court with regard to federal block grant funds, holding that no such actionable protection exists.

Opinions Oct. 22, 2012

October 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wayne Evans v. Duke Energy Indiana, Inc. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court injunction prohibiting construction in a utility easement.

Opinions Oct. 19, 2012

October 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rodney Killebrew II v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reserves a conviction of possession of marijuana after concluding the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence obtained at an illegal traffic stop. The court found the police officer had no grounds to stop the driver because the continuous use of a turn signal is not a traffic violation and the officer’s actions did not fall within his community caretaking function.

Opinions Oct. 18, 2012

October 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
John A. Dugan v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. The court erred when it denied Dugan’s claim that Mills applied retroactively to his habitual offender enhancement. Remands for the court to vacate that enhancement.

Opinions Oct. 17, 2012

October 17, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
J.M. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and T.C.
Agency appeal. Finds the court may rely on a different statutory ground of a just cause finding than the one relied upon by the review board when, as here, the review board’s findings of fact clearly establish the alternate subsection’s applicability. Affirms the review board under Indiana Code section 22-4-15-1(d)(5), that J.M. refused to obey instructions, and was thus fired for just cause. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Opinions Oct. 16, 2012

October 16, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Mitchell v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class D felony theft. The evidence is sufficient to show Mitchell and the other defendants knowingly exerted unauthorized control over the apartment complex’s water heater with the intent to deprive the apartments of any part of its value or use. The advisory sentence imposed, with all but 60 days suspended to probation, was not inappropriate.

Opinions Oct. 15, 2012

October 15, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ted L. Cecil, Cecil Septic LLC, and Max Haas Company, LLC v. Fisk Excavating, Plumbing and Septic Services, Inc., Dennis Fisk, Dennis Fisk, Jr.,Michelle Fisk, Bob Murphy, et al. (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Fisk Excavating and other defendants on the plaintiffs’ legal malpractice claim. Remands for determination of Gregg Morelock’s appellate attorney fees.

Opinions Oct. 12, 2012

October 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Riggs and Mark Ashmann v. Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., Mark Weinberger, M.D., P.C., Merrillville Center for Advanced Surgery, LLC, and Nose and Sinus Center, LLC
Civil tort. Reaffirms original opinion in all respects, and finds that a trial court when confronted with the facts and circumstances like those in this case, may compel an involuntary psychiatric examination in accordance with Ind. Trial Rule 35. There is no requirement that the court must do so.

Opinions Oct. 11, 2012

October 11, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Edward Jeroski, doing business as USA Cleaning Service and Building Maintenance v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission and U.S. Secretary of Labor
Agency review. Denies USA Cleaning’s petition to review the order of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, which affirmed the denial of an application for attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. The meaning of “prevailing party” under the act does not apply to USA Cleaning, which was the subject of an order by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration that was later dropped.

Opinions Oct. 10, 2012

October 10, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Charles R. Kastner v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial of disability benefits, finding the administrative law judge did not adequately explain why Kastner had not met the requirements for a presumptive disability. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Oct. 9, 2012

October 9, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ralph Jennings d/b/a A Cut Above Tree Service v. Terrance Kinnard (NFP)
Collections. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of relief to Kinnard from a default judgment of $4,189.22 for the plaintiff.

Opinions Oct. 5, 2012

October 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Heartland Crossing Foundation, Inc. v. Chris M. Dotlich
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Dotlich on a breach of contract claim, holding that the trial court did not err in rejecting Heartland’s claim for attorney fees assessed on the late payment of homeowner association dues. The trial court had called an “administrative fee” assessed to Dotlich “nothing more than an abusive junk fee.”

Opinions Oct. 4, 2012

October 4, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angelina Povey v. City of Jeffersonville, Indiana
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the city on Povey’s claim that her termination of employment by the city animal shelter violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and on her retaliation claim. Povey failed to meet her burden to demonstrate that she was disabled under the ADA and is not protected by its provisions.

Opinions Oct. 3, 2012

October 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven B. Steele v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. Evidence Rule 617 does not apply in this case because the police officer’s interrogation of Steele did not occur in a place of detention. The rule also does not explicitly or implicitly impose an affirmative duty on law enforcement officers to transport a person to a place of detention before conducting a custodial interrogation.

Opinions Oct. 2, 2012

October 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Moise Joseph v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class A felony burglary resulting in serious bodily injury, Class B felony attempted armed robbery and Class B felony criminal confinement. The trial court abused its discretion in admitting Joseph’s statements to the police detective.

Opinions Oct. 1, 2012

October 1, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott F. West v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Orders discharge of marijuana charges because West was held to answer those charges for more than a year without a trial date while a motion to suppress awaited a ruling. West did not request an indefinite continuance such that he needed to notify the court that he wished to proceed to trial.

Opinions Sept. 28, 2012

September 28, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Duncan v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part six convictions of Class A misdemeanor cruelty to an animal. Duncan did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial because the court did not fully advise him of his rights and obligations. Finds the animal cruelty statute is not vague as applied to him and there was sufficient evidence to overcome a defense of necessity. Remands for a jury trial.

Opinions Sept. 27, 2012

September 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Jorman, Jr. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, et al. (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms suspension of unemployment benefits.

Opinions Sept. 26, 2012

September 26, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sandra M. Bontrager, on her own behalf and on behalf of a class of those similarly situated v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Michael A. Gargano and Patricia Casanova
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms grant of Bontrager’s request for a preliminary injunction in her putative class-action complaint challenging Indiana’s $1,000 annual limit for dental services covered by Medicaid. The state is required to cover all medically necessary dental services, irrespective of the monetary cap.

Opinions Sept. 25, 2012

September 25, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Hall v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 24-year sentence for convictions of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of precursors, operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, and resisting law enforcement. The court held that a search of the vehicle that Hall fled after leading police on a chase did not implicate the Fourth Amendment and that the sentence was not inappropriate given Hall’s dangerous conduct and long record of driving and drug convictions.


Opinions Sept. 24, 2012

September 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Russell Oney
Criminal. Reverses and remands a trial court ruling that vacated a determination that a defendant was a habitual traffic violator, holding that even though one of the predicate offenses later was vacated in post-conviction relief, the BMV’s determination that Oney was a habitual traffic offender did not constitute manifest injustice.

Opinions Sept. 21, 2012

September 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin Taylor v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony failing to register as a sex offender. Rejects argument that ankle bracelet alerted authorities Taylor was living at a different address.

Opinions Sept. 19, 2012

September 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Carpenter v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine. The police officers did not violate Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights when they entered the house’s curtilage pursuant to an arrest warrant and looked into the bathroom window. The officers also did not violate his rights under the Indiana Constitution.

Opinions Sept. 18, 2012

September 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marlon Sims v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony robbery, Class D felony criminal confinement and finding Sims is a habitual offender.
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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.