Opinions

Opinions Nov. 15, 2010

November 15, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lorenzo Tavarez
09-3879
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of distributing 50 grams or more methamphetamine. Tavarez failed to show that the confidential informant was available only to the government. The District Court therefore did not err by refusing the missing witness instruction. Concludes that the jury could reasonably reach its guilty verdict on the circumstantial evidence presented here.
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Opinions Nov. 12, 2010

November 12, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of William J. Rawls
49S00-0908-DI-355
Discipline. Disbars Rawls for violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.16(d), 8.1(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(b), and 8.4(c). Rawls has demonstrated a pattern of neglect of his clients' cases, resulting in adverse dispositions, suspension of one client's driver's license, a missed opportunity to settle, and undue delay.
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Opinions Nov. 11, 2010

November 11, 2010
The courts are closed today in observance of Veterans Day. 
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Opinions Nov. 10, 2010

November 10, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott D. Wells v. Herman Bud Bernitt, et al.
53A01-0910-CV-494
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the Bernitts on Wells’ claim against them for defamation because there was no admissible evidence before the court to establish actual malice, an element of defamation. Affirms summary judgment in favor of J.D. Maxwell and Travis Coryea as to Wells’ claim for negligent and intentional torts finding the evidence establishes the officers didn’t use excessive force. Affirms summary judgment for Wells on the Bernitts’ cross appeal alleging abuse of process.
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Opinions Nov. 9, 2010

November 9, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony A. Parish v. State of Indiana
02A03-1002-CR-74
Criminal. Affirms Parish’s convictions of murder, Class B felony robbery, and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license, and his sentence to an aggregate term of 86 years of incarceration. On appeal, Parish claimed a protective search of a locked glove box during a traffic stop was constitutionally improper, and therefore evidence found during the search should have been suppressed. COA concluded the protective search was permissible under the Fourth Amendment.
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Opinions Nov. 8, 2010

November 8, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy Cranston v. State of Indiana
29A02-1003-CR-374
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater. The admission of the Datamaster machine printed ticket stating his BAC without live testimony from the equipment technician didn’t violate Cranston’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.
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Opinions Nov. 5, 2010

November 5, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
S.A. v. Review Board
93A02-1004-EX-568
Civil. Affirms the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s ruling that S.A.’s acceptance of an early retirement package made her ineligible to continue receiving unemployment benefits. S.A. left employment without good cause in connection with the work.
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Opinions Nov. 4, 2010

November 4, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
DBL Axel LLC v. Lasalle Bank National Association
15A01-1003-PL-205
Civil plenary. Affirms order directing immediate turnover of funds in favor of LaSalle Bank. The checks paid by the city of Lawrenceburg to DBL concerned the property in question and were within the scope of and subject to the receivership order, and DBL’s failure to include that money paid or otherwise notify the receiver of the settlement agreement was a violation of that order. Remands for the trial court to amend its order directing immediate turnover of funds and enter an order directing turnover in the amount of $1,365,500.
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Opinions Nov. 3, 2010

November 3, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
James K. Oberst v. State of Indiana
14A05-1003-PC-157
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Because Oberst gave his statement that he had sex with the victim to police in counsel’s presence before adversary criminal proceedings had been initiated, he had no Sixth Amendment right to counsel and therefore no right to the effective assistance of counsel.
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Opinions Nov. 2, 2010

November 2, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Court of Appeals, and Indiana Tax Court were closed in observance of Election Day.
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Opinions Nov. 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael J. Shepard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1002-CR-94
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more

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Opinions Oct. 29, 2010

October 29, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Taele and Sarah Taele v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.
06A01-1004-CT-259
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of State Farm. The Taeles aren’t entitled to recover uninsured motorist benefits under their State Farm policy because they themselves were neither directly impacted nor directly physically injured by the accident that killed their daughter. Judge Crone dissents.
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Opinions Oct. 28, 2010

October 28, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert D. Davis v. State of Indiana
32A01-1003-CR-144
Criminal. Affirms denial of Davis’ motion for leave to amend his motion to correct erroneous sentence. The information before the appellate court doesn’t allow it to decide whether he was erroneously sentenced. 
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Opinions Oct. 27, 2010

October 27, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
James L. Parkey v. Jason E. Sample
09-3966
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge William C. Lee
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of Indiana State Trooper Jason Sample’s motion for summary judgment, which found James Parkey, who sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, had not brought forth any evidence to demonstrate a lack of probable cause. Parkey claimed Sample had violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment by searching his home and seizing his property without probable cause. Suspecting Parkey had a marijuana grow operation, Sample did two trash pulls near Parkey’s residence where Sample found marijuana cigarettes and stems from marijuana plants, evidence he presented to a Lake County Superior magistrate, who issued a search warrant for Parkey’s home.
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Opinions Oct. 26, 2010

October 26, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Allstate Insurance Company v. Timothy Clancy, et al.
45A03-0910-CV-498
Civil. Reverses trial court’s order granting a motion to compel the production of documents. In its interlocutory appeal, Allstate Insurance Company raised the following issue: whether the trial court abused its discretion by compelling production of documents subject to the attorney-client privilege on the ground that Allstate has implicitly raised an advice of counsel defense, thereby waiving the attorney-client privilege.
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Opinions Oct. 25, 2010

October 25, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Alesa Pack v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
89A05-1004-PL-240
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of Medicaid benefits. The administrative law judge’s decision is defective for failing to consider the totality of the evidence provided and in its presentation of and engagement with the findings of basic fact when applying the law to reach a finding of ultimate fact that Pack’s health conditions didn’t substantially impair her ability to work. Remands to the ALJ for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 22, 2010

October 22, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Belle City Amusements, Inc. v. Doorway Promotions, Inc.
35A05-0912-CV-711
Civil. Reverses award of damages for lost profits for the years 2010 through 2013 in the amount of $17,500 for each year to Doorway after Belle City cancelled its agreement with the company to provide rides and concessions for a festival. The damages were not a foreseeable consequence of the breach of the agreement between Belle City and Doorway and Indiana doesn’t allow for recovery for perceived loss of reputation or goodwill in an action for breach of contract. Affirms $24,000 award to Doorway for the 2009 rent of the Coliseum to house the festival. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 21, 2010

October 21, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brenda Moore v. State of Indiana
49A04-1001-CR-46
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Under the circumstances, Moore was not in a public place and therefore the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction of public intoxication. Judge Vaidik dissents.
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Opinions Oct. 20, 2010

October 20, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
J.B. v. E.B.
34A04-1002-DR-110
Domestic relation. Reverses trial court decision to exclude son’s counseling records at a custody modification hearing. The instant case is a proceeding within the purview of Indiana Code Section 31-32-11-1 and the counselor/client privilege does not apply. Remands for further proceedings. 
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Opinions Oct. 19, 2010

October 19, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Carla Johnson and Michael Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0911-CR-651
Criminal. Affirms Carla’s convictions of Class B felonies neglect of a dependent and battery, and affirms Michael’s conviction of Class B felony neglect.
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Opinions Oct. 18, 2010

October 18, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Tom George, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
09-3667
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Vacates opinion reversing District Court’s dismissal of claims with prejudice, stays the appeal, and certifies three questions to the Indiana Supreme Court: Do the plaintiffs’ allegations about the NCAA’s method for allocating scarce tickets to championship tournaments describe a lottery that would be unlawful under Indiana law? If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, would the NCAA’s method for allocating tickets fall within the Ind. Code Section 35-45-5-1(d) exception for “bona fide business transactions that are valid under the law of contracts”? If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, do plaintiffs’ allegations show that their claims are subject to an in pari delecto defense as described in Lesher v. Baltimore Football Club and Swain v. Bussell?
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Opinions Oct. 15, 2010

October 15, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Southlake Community Mental Health Center, Inc., et al. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Crown Point, Indiana, et al.
45A03-1002-MI-81
Miscellaneous. Reverses determination that the Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Crown Point correctly concluded that Southlake and Watertower South’s proposed use of a certain parcel was inappropriate for the parcel’s zoning classification. The original appeal of the Crown Point Plan Commission’s decision by Feather Rock Professional Office Park was untimely. Remands with instructions to grant Southlake and Watertower’s certiorari petition.
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Opinions Oct. 14, 2010

October 14, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Town of Culver Board of Zoning Appeals v. Roderick J. Ratcliff and Pamela A. Ratcliff
50A03-1004-MI-179
Miscellaneous. Affirms judgment in favor of the Ratcliffs on their petition for writ of certiorari from an adverse decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals. The storage sheds on a landscaped gravel lot supplied with electricity aren’t considered “structures” within the definition of Culver’s zoning ordinances.
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Opinions Oct. 13, 2010

October 13, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Cruz Saenz
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine but vacates his 293-month sentence. Rejects Saenz’s speedy trial challenge because nearly all of the delay is attributable to requests by Saenz or his co-defendants and the court didn’t error in imposing an obstruction of justice enhancement by concluding Saenz willfully lied about whether he knew the money he was transporting was drug money. Remands for the District Court to reconsider whether Saenz should receive the minor role adjustment as there is no evidence in the record of his involvement in a conspiracy beyond the single transport of money.

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Opinions Oct. 12, 2010

October 12, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America and State of New York, et al. v. Cinergy Corp., et al.
No. 1:99-CV-1693
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Reverses District Court ruling in the government’s favor regarding modifications involving sulphur dioxide emissions because Cinergy met the standard that was authorized by a state plan the Environmental Protection Agency approved. Finds the District Court should not have admitted evidence by the EPA’s expert witnesses. Rules that without expert testimony to support an estimate of actual emissions caused by the modifications, the government cannot prevail with respect to the charge of nitrogen oxide pollution. Dismisses cross-appeal.
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  1. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  2. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  3. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

  4. This is easily remedied, and in a fashion that every church sacrificing incense for its 501c3 status and/or graveling for government grants should have no problem with ..... just add this statue, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capitoline_she-wolf_Musei_Capitolini_MC1181.jpg entitled, "Jesus and Cousin John learn to suckle sustenance from the beloved Nanny State." Heckfire, the ACLU might even help move the statue in place then. And the art will certainly reflect our modern life, given the clergy's full-bellied willingness to accede to every whim of the new caesars. If any balk, just threaten to take away their government milk … they will quiet down straightaway, I assure you. Few, if any of them, are willing to cross the ruling elite as did the real J&J

  5. Tina has left the building.

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