Opinions

Opinions June 21, 2016

June 21, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.C. (Minor Child) and A.C. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
49A02-1510-JT-1711
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights after COA found the Americans with Disabilities Act cannot be used as a defense and the father waived his right to appeal on these grounds by not bringing up the issue at the trial court level.
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Opinions June 20, 2016

June 20, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Town of Cedar Lake v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and Nicole Hoekstra (mem. dec.)
93A02-1512-EX-2165
Agency action. Affirms the Department of Workforce Development Review Board’s ruling that Nicole Hoekstra was fired without just cause.
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Opinions June 17, 2016

June 17, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Richard C. Gallops and Patricia A. Gallops v. Shambaugh Kast Beck & Williams, LLP
02A03-1509-CT-1401
Civil tort. Dismisses Richard and Patricia Gallopses’ appeal of orders preceding their agreed judgment with Shambaugh Kast Beck & Williams on their legal malpractice suit because agreed judgments are not appealable.
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Opinions June 16, 2016

June 16, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Thomas L. Hale v. State of Indiana
35S02-1601-CR-37
Criminal. Reverses conviction of dealing in methamphetamine, holding that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to grant Hale depositions of two state witnesses at public expense. Advises trial courts denying an indigent defendant’s motion to depose state witnesses at public expense should issue findings supporting the denial.
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Opinions June 15, 2016

June 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Northeastern Rural Electric Membership Corporation v. Wabash Valley Power Association, Inc.
49A02-1508-PL-1312
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Wabash Valley Power Association after Northeastern Rural Electric Membership Corp. challenged Wabash’s statute of limitations defense. Finds that the breach of contract would have happened in 2004, when Wabash switched regulations from state to federal and not 2008, when Wabash’s rates began to increase.
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Opinions June 14, 2016

June 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gregory Schafer v. Kathryne Borchert d/b/a Southlake Realty.
56A04-1507-CP-977
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment for Kathryne Borchert after Gregory Schafer appealed the judgment on Schafer’s claims that a tax sale notice was sent to him one day late when Borchert filed for a quiet title. Schafer had filed on cross-appeal to have the tax deeds set aside. The Court of Appeals found the trial court misinterpreted Trial Rule 6(A), counting the number of days between the notice and sale incorrectly.
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Opinions June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday.

Matthew D. Claussen, et al. v. Michael R. Pence, Governor of the State of Indiana, et al.
16-1003
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Philip P. Simon, chief judge.
Civil. Affirms Indiana Code 3-5-9-5, which states that a government employee may not also hold an elected position in the municipality they work in, does not violate the First Amendment or the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The 7th Circuit held that the interest Indiana has in avoiding corruption or the appearance of corruption outweighs any First Amendment violations the plaintiffs’ may suffer by not being able to serve in elected office.
 

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Opinions June 10, 2016

June 10, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy A. Williamson v. U.S. Bank National Association
49A05-1506-MF-521
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment for U.S. Bank after the court found a mistake in making the deed for the property didn’t mean Timothy Williamson did not own the property at the time of a modification agreement. Williamson’s name was not on the deed after it was accidentally included in the sheriff’s sale and sold to the bank but the bank rectified the issue.
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Opinions June 9, 2016

June 9, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Edwin Guzman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A05-1509-CR-1548
Criminal. Affirms denial of Edwin Guzman’s motion to correct error following his conviction as a habitual traffic offender, a Level 6 felony.
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Opinions June 8, 2016

June 8, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Anastazia Schmid v. Steven McCauley, superintendent, Indiana Women’s Prison
14-2974
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, William T. Lawrence, judge.
Civil. Rules mentally ill woman appealing her murder conviction and sentence should have had an attorney appointed to her in District Court. Remands for court to appoint her one, as well as hold a possible evidentiary hearing.  
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Opinions June 7, 2016

June 7, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Otter Creek Trading Company Inc. and Daniel Pohle v. PCM Enviro PTY, LTD.
40A01-1509-MI-1432
Miscellaneous. Affirms $147,000 default judgment for PCM after COA found the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it ruled Otter Creek’s reply to the complaint was too short after PCM sued for breach of contract because Otter Creek did not send a smelter PCM paid for. Also finds it didn’t matter that PCM did not have a certificate of authority and was not a full business, Otter Creek still needed to fulfill its contractual obligations.
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Opinions June 3, 2016

June 3, 2016
Indiana Tax Court
John and Sylvia Von Ermannsdorff v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1112-TA-93
Tax. Denies the Department of State Revenue’s motion for summary judgment with respect to whether the von Erdmannsdorffs rebutted the presumption of correctness afforded to the department’s best information available assessments. Grants the von Erdmannsdorffs’ counter-motion for partial summary judgment with respect to whether the department erred in calculating their adjusted gross income by combining the gross receipts but failing to account for the additional business expense deductions.
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Opinions June 2, 2016

June 2, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tahj R. Thomas v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A04-1511-CR-2069
Criminal. Affirms Tahj R. Thomas’ aggregate eight-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to rape and criminal deviate conduct as Class A felonies.
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Opinions June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
David  P. Allen v. Kimberly W. Allen
13S01-1601-DR-00053
Domestic relations. Rules that divorced parents without an agreement to pay college expenses do not have to pay their children’s graduate or professional school expenses. Postsecondary in Indiana Code 31-16-6-2 means a technical or undergraduate school.
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Opinions May 31, 2016

May 31, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tracy K. Barber v. Amy Henry
87A01-1510-JP-1639
Juvenile. Affirms calculation of weekly child support owed by father after imputing just minimum wage to mother. The record shows mother, who is a doctor, is unemployed with just cause based on the special needs of her sons.  Reverses the order with respect to the civil attorney fees father is ordered to pay in his son’s juvenile case and remands with instructions to determine which part of the total amount claimed can be attributed to the protective order petition.
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Opinions May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
J.B. v. State of Indiana
49A02-1509-JV-1372
Juvenile. Rules a trial court cannot order a juvenile to pay restitution as a civil judgment after the court ordered $1,250 in fees for breaking probation in four causes. The order was rescinded so the matter was moot, but the court ruled on the case for public interest.
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Opinions May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Doe #1, et al. v. Indiana Department of Child Services
49A02-1506-CT-682
Civil tort. Reverses and remands summary judgment in favor of Indiana Department of Child Services after court found in a 2-1 decision DCS had the duty under common law to protect the identity of a caller who reported children as being in need of services. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents, noting she doesn’t think the code which DCS broke by identifying him supplies a private right of action.  
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Opinions May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kelly C. Mullen v. State of Indiana
02A05-1511-CR-1959
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the denial of Kelly C. Mullen’s motion to suppress evidence of a gun obtained during a search of his person. Rules that the officer who stopped him had sufficient reason, including the increased drug and gun violence in the area, the fact the apartment complex asked the police department to help with loitering issues, and Mullen’s actions during the stop.
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Opinions May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tresa Megenity v. David Dunn
22A04-1506-CT-722
Civil tort. Reverses and remands summary judgment for David Dunn after the majority ruled Dunn’s kick while Tresa Megenity was holding a bag during a karate drill constituted an issue of material fact. The COA ruled the type of kick Dunn did may not have been normal activity for the drill the two were involved in at the time. Judge Patricia Riley dissented, saying the majority ruled too narrowly. She thought the kick was normal behavior in the sport of karate itself and would have ruled to uphold summary judgment.
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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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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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