Opinions

Opinions July 22, 2016

July 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Santiago Valdez v. State of Indiana

18A02-1509-CR-1514
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony attempted rape and Class C felony criminal confinement. While a prosecutor’s hint during closing arguments that defense counsel improperly influenced an expert witness constituted prosecutorial misconduct, the trial court’s prompt admonishment prevented Valdez from being placed into grave peril. The trial court made no evidentiary errors. Admonishes Delaware County deputy prosecutor Eric Hoffman regarding ‘wild, baseless accusations of misconduct’ hurled at defense counsel.
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Opinions July 21, 2016

July 21, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Joseph C. Lehman
20S00-1507-DI-431
Discipline. Disbars Lehman for unauthorized practice of law while suspended. Previous sanctions have not deterred him from continuing to engage in the practice of law in defiance of his suspension order, and his repeated violations have exposed the public to the danger of attorney misconduct by him.
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Opinions July 20, 2016

July 20, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Timothy S. Durham
49S00-1212-DI-672
Discipline. Disbars Tim Durham following his conviction on 12 felony counts for securities and wire fraud, 10 of which were upheld on appeal. Finds he violated two Rules of Professional Conduct for “fraudulent looting of funds entrusted to him by investors.”
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Opinions July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jonathan Gibson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A05-1601-PC-129
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.
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Opinions July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Pinnacle Properties Development Group, LLC v. Sarah Oliver (mem. dec.)
10A01-1512-SC-2143
Small claim. Affirms judgment in favor of Oliver on Pinnacle Properties’ small claim action seeking as damages unpaid rent and an unpaid utility bill, as well as possession of Oliver’s apartment.
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Opinions July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Larenz Jordan v. State of Indiana

27A02-1511-CR-1897
Criminal. Affirms Jordan’s convictions of 12 counts of rape and one count of conspiracy to commit rape, as Level 1 felonies; one count of Level 4 felony burglary, and one count of Level 5 felony robbery. The juvenile court, in waiving him to adult court, did not abuse its discretion as there was no error associated with the judge’s use of the phrase “criminal thinking” without reference to evidence-based measures of criminogenic behavior, where here, the elements of the waiver statute are other properly addressed and supported. Concludes his 40-year aggregate sentence is appropriate.
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Opinions July 14, 2016

July 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company v. Matthew W. Ackerman and American Casualty Co.
82A01-1509-CT-1350
Civil tort. Reverses denial of the Fireman’s Fund’s motion for summary judgment regarding Ackerman’s claim for underinsured motorist coverage. Given Indiana Code 27-7-5-1.5(b), Fireman’s Fund was not required to provide UM/UIM coverage in the 2008 Evansville Marine policy. Fireman’s Fund was entitled to judgment as a matter of law and there were no genuine issues of material fact. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions July 13, 2016

July 13, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Noe Escamilla v. Shiel Sexton Company, Inc. (dissent on rehearing) 54A01-1506-CT-602 Civil tort. Denies Escamilla’s petition for rehearing. Judge Baker dissents with opinion, writing that knowledge of a party’s immigration status alone sheds no meaningful light on the question of whether that party will one day face deportation.
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Opinions July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Victor Roar v. State of Indiana
49S02-1607-CR-372
Criminal. Affirms Victor Roar’s Class A misdemeanor intimidation conviction. Grants transfer and incorporates by reference the portion of the Court of Appeals opinion on sufficiency of the evidence and affirms the trial court. Summarily affirms the COA opinion addressing the admission of other evidence.
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Opinions July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Shawn M. Sobolewski v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
46A03-1511-CR-2011
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony aiding, inducing or causing burglary and Class B felony aiding, inducing or causing robbery.
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Opinions July 8, 2016

July 8, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brad L. Sullivan v. State of Indiana
16A01-1512-CR-2175
Criminal. Reverses revocation of Sullivan’s community corrections placement. Based on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the violation – Sullivan’s commitment for mental health issues, and the sanction, an order he serve the sentence in the DOC – the trial court abused its discretion in finding his violation warranted revoking his community corrections placement. Remands for placement in community corrections.
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Opinions July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.B., Minor Child, and L.B., Father v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)
54A05-1601-JT-55
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.
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Opinions July 6, 2016

July 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
James E. Rogers v. State of Indiana
49A02-1508-CR-1033
Criminal. Reverses the denial of Rogers’ motion to compel a woman who provided social services support to Rogers’ minor victim and her family to answer four questions during a deposition.
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Opinions July 5, 2016

July 5, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana, Acting on Behalf of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration
49S00-1605-OR-294
Original action. Concludes that the state is entitled to a change of judge. Removes Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer and orders the trial court to grant the change of judge motion. Vacates all orders Dreyer issued in the case on or after May 6, 2016, the date the Supreme Court’s order was certified, and prohibits Dreyer from exercising further jurisdiction except to effectuate the change of judge.
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Opinions July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Richard J. McVey v. State of Indiana
73A04-1601-CR-12
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part denial of McVey’s petitions to be removed from the lifetime sex-offender registry and to be exempted from the unlawful-entry statute. Finds the lifetime-registration requirement for sex offenders violates the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition against ex post facto laws as applied McVey, who was convicted of molesting his half-sister between 1998 and 2001. Holds the unlawful-entry statute, which makes it a crime for a person who is required to register as a sex offender and who is convicted of child molesting to enter school property, is not an ex post facto law as applied to him.
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Opinions June 30, 2016

June 30, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Keyaunna Hurley v. State of Indiana
49A05-1601-CR-108
Criminal. Rules Keyaunna Hurley’s inability to give a sufficient sample on a chemical breath test after she was suspected of driving under the influence was a refusal to take the test under section 2-4-2(b)(5) of Title 260 of the Indiana Administrative Code and the evidence was sufficient to sustain the refusal determination.
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Opinions June 29, 2016

June 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anonymous M.D. and Anonymous Hospital v. Kenneth Lockridge, on behalf of Lily Lockridge, Rose Lockridge, and Kenneth Lockridge, Jr., Minors
39A01-1509-CT-1498
Civil tort. Affirms ruling that a medical malpractice suit filed by minor children Lily, Rose and Kenneth Lockridge Jr. can proceed due to an exception in the Medical Malpractice Act, and the Act includes derivative lawsuits because the General Assembly did not exclude them when it drafted the legislation.
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Opinions June 28, 2016

June 28, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of Charles P. White
49S00-1203-DI-156
Attorney discipline. Suspends the former Indiana Secretary of State for at least two years without automatic reinstatement. Finds that Charlie White’s felony convictions of perjury, voting outside a precinct of residence and theft are violations of Indiana Professional Conduct Rules.
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Opinions June 27, 2016

June 27, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
BC Osaka, Inc. and City Inn, Inc. v. Kainan Investment Groups, Inc.
45A03-1510-CT-1587
Civil Tort. Reverses decision granting Kainan Investment’s cross-claim on summary judgment that BC Osaka indemnify them against a woman’s personal injury claims. Finds the lease agreement did not specify whether the indemnification extended to negligence by the landlord and the landlord controlled the parking lot where the injury happened. Remands for jury trial.
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Opinions June 24, 2016

June 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Willis G. Heck v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
84A01-1601-CR-126
Criminal. Affirms Willis Heck’s five-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to Level 5 felony burglary.
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Opinions June 23, 2016

June 23, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Trondo L. Humphrey v. State of Indiana
48A02-1508-PC-1238
Post conviction. Reverses and remands denial of Trondo Humphrey’s petition for post-conviction relief after the court found Humphrey’s counsel was ineffective for not objecting to the use of statement for impeachment only. Also finds that Humphrey’s appeal was not barred by laches.
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Opinions June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ricky E. Arion v. State of Indiana
08A02-1508-CR-1278
Criminal. Dismisses burglary, sexual battery and criminal confinement charges against Ricky Arion. COA rules the fact that the trial court never received a return of the arrest warrant did not absolve the trial court of following Arion’s motion for a speedy trial.
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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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  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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