Opinions

Opinions May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas Costella and Profit Search Inc. v. Gersh Zavodnik
49A04-1504-PL-163.
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands summary judgment for Gersh Zavodnik for $30,044.07 after Court of Appeals ruled Zavodnik abused Trial Court Rule 36(B) which governs the withdrawal of admissions, using it for his own gain. Remands for trial court to determine whether case should be dismissed because of Trial Rule 41(E) which provides for dismissal when a plaintiff does not diligently prosecute a case or comply with court rules.
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Opinions — May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016
Indiana Tax Court Miller Pipeline Corporation v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1012-TA-00064. Tax. Remands six out of 11 issues Miller pipeline claimed after Miller appealed the Department of Revenue’s denial of Miller’s claim for refund of sales and use taxes remitted for the 2006 and 2007 tax years.
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Opinions — May 18, 2016

May 19, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the matter of: Elton D. Johnson
71S00-1408-DI-544
Discipline. Disbars Johnson after he committed attorney misconduct by providing incompetent representation, converting client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. Johnson violated 13 different Indiana Professional Conduct Rules as well as three Indiana Admission and Discipline Rules.
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Opinions — May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Joshua Schaaf v. State of Indiana
85A04-1506-CR-796.
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Schaff’s convictions but reduces his sentence for two counts of dealing heroin. Finds sufficient evidence for his convictions even though he didn’t participate in one of the transactions and didn’t know he was near a park in the second. Reduces Schaff’s sentence from 15 years for the first count and 40 for the second count to 10 for the first count and 30 for the second, finding the sentence was too harsh. Judge Paul Mathias dissents in opposition to the sentence reduction in one-paragraph opinion.
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Opinions — May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Samaron Corp. D/B/A Troyer Products v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company
15-3446
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Affirms United of Omaha does not have to pay Troyer Products after it mistakenly paid the wrong party a death benefit. Rules Troyer knew the money was going to the wrong party and let it happen anyway.
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Opinions May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals

BSA Construction LLC v Jimmie E. Johnson
49A02-1506-CT-749
Civil Tort. Affirms summary judgment for Jimmie Johnson after the Court of Appeals found Johnson did not owe BSA a duty of care after he appraised a property for less than the agreed-upon purchase price. Johnson cannot serve both the bank that hired him and BSA because of conflicting interests.

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Opinions May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Simons v. State of Indiana
20A03-1512-CR-2158
Criminal. Affirms David Simons’ 29-year aggregate sentence after court ruled even though trial court did notify Simons of his earliest and maximum possible release dates the error was harmless.
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Opinions May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brandon T. Black v. State of Indiana
02A03-1511-PC-1875
Post conviction. Denies Brandon Black’s petition for post-conviction relief as the COA found the failure of Black’s attorney to tell him about sentence maximums did not affect his decision to plead guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent.
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Opinions May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Korie M. Leslie v. Jeremy D. Farmer
87A01-1508-JP-1164
Juvenile. Affirms father can have child’s last name changed to his paternal name. He was up-to-date on child support, has spent time with the child and been active in the child’s life. The name will serve as a reminder that the child has two parents who care.
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Opinions May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Pugh v. State of Indiana
49A02-1506-CR-483
Criminal. Affirms Michael Pugh’s convictions of two counts of rape, one count of attempted criminal deviate conduct, one count of robbery and one count of burglary as Class A felonies; one count of robbery and three counts of carjacking as Class B felonies; and one count of robbery as a Class C felony. Finds Pugh’s three convictions of robbery do not violate the single larceny rule and his two convictions of rape do not violate the continuing crime doctrine.
 

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Opinions May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Polycon Industries Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board
15-3675, 15-3859
NLRB. Enforces National Labor Relations Board order that Polycon Industries must sign a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Union Local 142. Polycon negotiated the agreement with the Teamsters, but then refused to sign it.

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Opinions May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Barbara Hill, individually and as guardian of Charles Hill, incapacitated, and as next friend of Alexandra Hill, a minor, et al. v. Erich E. Gephart, City of Indianapolis, et al.
49A02-1509-CT-1288
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of city of Indianapolis defendants on the Hills’ claim of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising from Erich Gephart driving a jail transport vehicle that struck and injured Charles Hill. Remands for proceedings.
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Opinions May 5, 2016

May 5, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. David A. Resnick
14-3791
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. James T. Moody, judge.
Criminal. Affirms David Resnick’s convictions of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, interstate transportation of child pornography, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Finds admission of Resnick’s refusal to take a polygraph test into evidence does not violate his Fifth Amendment rights, and the evidence was sufficient to uphold his firearm conviction. Judge Baurer dissents.
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Opinions May 4, 2016

May 4, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott Schuck v. State of Indiana
73A01-1507-CR-981
Criminal. Reverses decision and remands to trial court to determine amount of investigatory expenses law firm representing Schuck should get after COA found investigation was necessary even though Schuck pleaded guilty after trial began.
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Opinions May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Knauf Insulation, Inc. v Southern Brands, Inc. and Albert and Rosemary Dowd
15-3157
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms Southern Brands needs to pay more than $3.5 million to Knauf Insulation after SBI filed a counterclaim in a price-gouging suit too late to be considered.

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Opinions May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016
Indiana Tax Court
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.
Hamilton Southeastern Utilities v Indiana State Department of Revenue

49T10-1210-TA-00068.
Tax. Grants summary judgment to Hamilton Southeastern on challenge that the company’s connection fees are not subject to utility rate tax. The company separated its fees from its taxable receipts on its return.

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Opinions April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
P & P Home Services, LLC v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Cynthia Hutcherson
93A02-1511-EX-1818
Agency action. Reverses Department of Workforce Development Review Board determination that a former employee of P&P Home Services is eligible for unemployment benefits. Remands to the board for a determination of whether the worker’s employment relationship was voluntarily severed by the employee.
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Opinions April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Kathy L. Siner, Personal Representative of the Estate of Geraldine A. Siner, Deceased, et al. v. Kindred Hospital Limited Partnership, d/b/a Kindred Hospital of Indianapolis, et al.
49S05-1604-CT-219
Civil tort. Reverses find of summary judgment for Kindred Hospital and Mohammed Majid after the Supreme Court found genuine issues of material fact in the case.
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Opinions April 27, 2016

April 27, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Ronald Sanford Jr. v. State of Indiana
49S05-1604-PC-210
Post conviction. Reverses trial court and Court of Appeals decisions and finds Ronald Sanford can file a belated notice of appeal of his sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, among other charges, because of “unique circumstances.”
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Opinions April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
William Bowman v. State of Indiana
 21S04-1510-CR-604
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug within 1,000 feet of a school property and being a habitual substance offender. The evidence was sufficient to sustain William Bowman’s conviction despite a second baggie of evidence not being tested to prove it was heroin after a first bag of heroin was tested.
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Opinions April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kelly E. Culver v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
84A01-1511-PC-1964
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Kelly Culver’s petition for post-conviction relief.
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Opinions April 22, 2016

April 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kennedy Tank & Mfg. Co., Inc.; and Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., and Hemlock Semiconductor, LLC v. Emmert Industrial Corporation, d/b/a Emmert International
49A02-1507-CT-934
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Kennedy Tank Manufacturing’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it by Emmert International. The Indiana statute of limitation the trial court relied on is preempted by a federal statute with a shorter limitations period, and Emmert did not bring the lawsuit within that period.
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Opinions April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Adam Horton v. State of Indiana
79S02-1510-CR-628
Criminal. Reverses Adam Horton’s conviction of Class D felony domestic battery after the court found Horton did not waive his right to jury trial on the charge. Remands for a new trial. The failure to confirm his person waiver before proceeding to a bench trial was fundamental error.
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Opinions April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eddie G. Love v. State of Indiana
20A05-1509-CR-1327
Criminal. Remands Eddie Love’s petition for habeas corpus to Elkhart Circuit Court with instructions to dismiss because Love improperly field his petition without permission from the court.
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Opinions April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Energy Policy Institute, and Common Cause of Indiana v. Eric Koch, and Indiana House Republican Caucus
49S00-1510-PL-607
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of lawsuit seeking copies of Koch’s, and his staff’s, correspondence with various business organizations in relation to specific legislation. Holds whether the work product exception within the Indiana Access to Public Records Act applies to the Indiana General Assembly presents a non-justiciable question. Justice Rucker dissents in part with separate opinion.
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  1. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  2. A high ranking bureaucrat with Ind sup court is heading up an organization celebrating the formal N word!!! She must resign and denounce! http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  3. ND2019, don't try to confuse the Left with facts. Their ideologies trump facts, trump due process, trump court rules, even trump federal statutes. I hold the proof if interested. Facts matter only to those who are not on an agenda-first mission.

  4. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  5. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

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