Opinions Oct. 21, 2016

October 21, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Mary K. Patchett v. Ashley N. Lee
Civil tort. Finds on interlocutory appeal that the ruling in Stanley v. Walker, 906 N.E.2d 852 (Ind. 2009), permitting defendants in a personal injury lawsuit to introduce discounted reimbursements negotiated between the plaintiff’s medical providers and his private health insurer, so long as insurance is not referenced, also applies to reimbursements by government payers.

Opinions Oct. 20, 2016

October 20, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Tyson Timbs and a 2012 Land Rover LR2
Miscellaneous/civil forfeiture. Majority affirms trial court ruling that the forfeiture of Tyson Timbs’ 2012 Land Rover was a constitutionally excessive fine when the state sought to seize the vehicle after he was charged with two counts of Class B felony dealing in a controlled substance and one count of Class D felony conspiracy to commit theft.  Dissenting Judge Michael Barnes would reverse the trial court and grant the State’s forfeiture request.

Opinions Oct. 19, 2016

October 19, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Charles Summers
Miscellaneous. Reverses Cass Superior Court’s order granting Charles Summers’ petition to remove his name from the sex-offender registry. Finds that because Summers was under a tolling requirement in Illinois, there is no punitive burden to maintaining that requirement across state lines and that there is no ex post facto violation. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Oct. 18, 2016

October 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana ex rel. Indiana Department of Transportation v. Joshua Dehaven and FBi Buildings, Inc.
Civil collection. Affirms denial of the State of Indiana, ex rel. Indiana Department of Transportation’s motion for summary judgment in lawsuit against Joshua DeHaven and FBi Buildings, Inc. INDOT is not entitled to recover, as a matter of law, the actual cost incurred to repair the bridge after DeHaven struck it with his trailer.

Opinions Oct. 17, 2016

October 17, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles J. Davis Sr. v. Jay Phelps, Bartholomew County Clerk

Civil plenary. Reverses Bartholomew Circuit Court’s order dismissing Charles J. Davis Sr.’s complaint for failure to make a timely payment of fees. Finds that Davis should have been given 45 days to make the payment, but was only given 30 days. Remands with instructions for Davis to re-send the filing fee of $17.18 within 45 days.


Opinions Oct. 14, 2016

October 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kent R. Blair, Sr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Kent Blair’s convictions of invasion of privacy as a Level 6 felony and criminal trespass as a Class A misdemeanor, and his sentence to 1 ½ years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the evidence is sufficient to sustain Blair’s convictions, that the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing him and that his sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

Opinions Oct. 13, 2016

October 13, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Danny Sims v. Andrew Pappas and Melissa Pappas
Civil tort. Majority reverses jury award of $2 million in favor of the Pappases in a lawsuit following a crash caused by Sims, an intoxicated driver. The trial court erred in admitting Sims’ prior decades-old convictions for alcohol-related offenses that neither proved nor disproved any facts that were central to the questions the jury decided, and were therefore irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial. Judge Robert Altice dissents, arguing admission of the evidence of past convictions was for the sole purpose of establishing punitive damages and bear on the reprehensibility of his actions and state of mind.  


Opinions Oct. 12, 2016

October 12, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
James Blasius v. Angel Automotive, Inc.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Reverses district court decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Angel Automotive Inc. after James Blasius accused the company of negligence. Finds that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to the proximate cause of the fire that consumed Blasius’ vehicle and that Blasius is entitled to rely on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Oct. 11, 2016

October 11, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Allen County Plan Commission, et al. v. Olde Canal Place Association, et al.
Civil plenary. Reverses Allen Superior Court’s order granting Olde Canal Place Association and its members relief from judgment. Finds that the association cannot establish a meritorious claim. Remands with instructions to vacate the judgment setting aside its dismissal of the association’s petition for judicial review.


Opinions Oct. 6, 2016

October 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.G. (Minor Child), and N.R.G. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Remands with instructions to provide more specific findings of fact and conclusions of law to support the termination of N.R.G.’s parental rights to her daughter, N.G.

Opinions Oct. 5, 2016

October 5, 2016
Indiana Tax Court
Hamilton Square Investment, LLC. v. Hamilton County Assessor
Tax. Reverses the final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review. Remands to the Indiana Board of Tax Review to instruct the appropriate officials to take action. Finds that Hamilton Square Investment LLC was correct in its claim that the board erred in upholding the classification of its real property and the allocation of its tax cap credits for the 2012 tax year.

Opinions Oct. 4, 2016

October 4, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Robert Lewis, III v. State of Indiana
Life without parole. Resentences Robert Lewis to a total of 88 years’ imprisonment for his convictions of murder, criminal deviate conduct as a Class B felony and resisting law enforcement as a Class D felony. Remands to the trial court for the imposition of the sentences.

Opinions Oct. 3, 2016

October 3, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. v. Michael R. Pence, in his official capacity as Governor of Indiana, et al.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms preliminary injunction barring Gov. Mike Pence from ordering federal money to assist the resettlement of Syrian refugees be withheld because of potential terror threats. The district judge was correct in granting the injunction because Exodus is likely to prevail in a trial on the merits.

Opinions Sept. 30, 2016

September 30, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Kadrovach v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder for a hotdog vendor who stabbed a man in the head in downtown Indianapolis. The court did not commit fundamental error when it instructed the jury as to the mens rea necessary to convict him of attempted murder.

Opinions Sept. 29, 2016

September 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jakob Robinson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms eight year sentence, with five years in the Department of Correction and three suspended to probation, following Robinson’s guilty plea to five counts of child seduction as Level 5 felonies. His sentence is not inappropriate given his manipulation of his victim, a student at the school where he taught and coached, and his abuse of his position of trust over her.

Opinions Sept. 28, 2016

September 28, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Susan E. Sturdivant v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s decision to allow Susan Sturdivant to conduct her own defense. Finds that there was no evidence that Sturdivant was suffering from severe mental illness.

Opinions Sept. 27, 2016

September 27, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dale Sedam, Kim Sedam, and Bryan Norris, as co-personal representatives of the Estate of David C. Hamblin, deceased v. 2JR Pizza Enterprises, LLC doing business as Pizza Hut #013413, et al.
Civil tort. Reverses partial summary judgment in favor of Pizza Hut after its employee, Amanda Parker, was involved in a car accident that killed David C. Hamblin while she was acting within the scope of her employment. Finds that an employer’s admission that its employee committed the alleged negligent act within the scope of her employment does not preclude an action for negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Sept. 26, 2016

September 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jon A. Arnold v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny Jon A. Arnold’s petition for post-conviction relief. Arnold has not established that a defense overlooked by trial counsel would have likely changed the outcome of the proceeding.

Opinions Sept. 23, 2016

September 23, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re: The Adoption of: J.S.S. and K.N.S., Rayburn and Beth Robinson v. M.R.S.
Adoption. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny B.R. and R.R.’s motion to correct error after the trial court found that they had not established clear and convincing evidence necessary to dispense with parental consent. B.R. and R.R., foster parents, had petitioned to adopt J.S.S. and K.N.S. without the consent of their father, M.S.

Opinions Sept. 22, 2016

September 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Darwick Young v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Darwick Young’s conviction for Level 2 felony dealing in cocaine, Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Remands with instructions to vacate Young’s Level 3 felony possession of cocaine conviction and to revise his sentence.

Opinions Sept. 21, 2016

September 21, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Andre C. Coleman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Vacates imposition of supplemental public defender and probation fees against Andre Coleman. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Sept. 20, 2016

September 20, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christina Schermerhorn v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Christina Schermerhorn’s convictions of criminal recklessness, a Class A misdemeanor, and domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor.


Opinions Sept. 16, 2016

September 16, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bradley Starr by Next Friend Heather Starr-Haller and Heather Starr-Haller v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Company and the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for State Farm on Starr-Haller’s complaint seeking coverage for an auto accident. State Farm did not waive its right to deny Starr-Haller the coverage she now claims for an accident that occurred after her coverage had lapsed.

Opinions Sept. 15, 2016

September 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mindy M. Cline v. State of Indiana
Expungement petition. Reverses and remands denial of Mindy Cline’s petition for expungement, finding trial court abused its discretion in denying her petition. Judge Michael Barnes dissents with separate opinion.

Opinions Sept. 14, 2016

September 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Meridian Health Services Corporation v. Thomas Martin Bell

Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order finding Meridian Health Services Corporation in contempt of court for failure to comply with a subpoena duces tecum and appear at a deposition and awarding attorney fees as a sanction. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding Meridian in contempt.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues