Opinions

Opinions May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles D. Howard v. State of Indiana
14A04-1406-CR-286
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, Class B misdemeanor harassment, Class B misdemeanor public intoxication, and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The trial court issued a ruling on Howard’s motion to suppress/dismiss. Howard did not object to the admission of evidence at trial; (2) the state did not introduce or seek to admit into evidence any of Howard’s post-arrest statements; and (3) Howard did not file a motion for discharge under Criminal Rule 4 or object to the trial court’s setting of any of his trial dates.
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Opinions May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015
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Opinions May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
University of Notre Dame v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et al., and Jane Doe 3
13-3853
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms denial of preliminary relief requested by Notre Dame against having to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate pending a trial. Notre Dame has not yet established its right to the injunctive relief it is seeking before trial and majority believes a trial on the merits is necessary. Judge Hamilton concurs in separate opinion; Judge Flaum dissents in separate opinion.
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Opinions May 19, 2015

May 19, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Thomas R. Philpot
45S00-1304-DI-224
Attorney discipline. Suspends Thomas Philpot from the practice of law for four years without automatic reinstatement. Finds he violated the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct by committing crimes that reflect adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer.
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Opinions May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gary P. Byers v. Robert E. Moredock and Rhoda S. Moredock
34A04-1412-CT-560
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the Moredocks and against Byers. Finds the Moredocks as owners of the property and landlords did not have a duty to ensure their tenant’s dog was properly restrained.
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Opinions May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015
Indiana Tax Court
Lee and Sally Peters v. Lisa Garoffolo, Boone County Assessor, and the Indiana Board of Tax Review
49T10-1207-TA-42
Tax. Affirms the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s 2010 assessment of a Zionsville office building owned by Lee and Sally Peters. The Indiana Board of Tax Review did no err in upholding the 2010 real property assessment.
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Opinions May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
The Board of Commissioners of the County of Jefferson v. Teton Corporation, Innovative Roofing Solutions, Inc., Gutapfel Roofing, Inc., and Daniel L. Gutapfel
72S04-1410-CT-642
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the contractors on the county’s subrogation claim to recover damages caused to the courthouse outside the scope of the renovation work. The plain meaning of the contract defines the scope of the AIA contract waiver based on the extent and source of coverage, not the nature of the property damaged. Agrees with the majority of jurisdictions that have applied this plain meaning to bar recovery for all damages covered by the same property insurance policy used to cover construction-related damages – commonly referred to as the “any insurance” approach. Because contractors have shown that the property owner’s insurance covered all damages, the subrogation waiver applies to bar the property owner’s claim.
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Opinions May 13, 2015

May 13, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
Daniel Lee Pierce v. State of Indiana
78S05-1407-CR-460
Criminal. Affirms Pierce’s convictions for molesting his three young granddaughters. Finds his abuse of the girls in his care was sufficiently connected, so he is not entitled to new and separate trials. Remands for the purpose of resentencing on one count of Class A felony child molesting because the trial court erred by suspending six years of Pierce’s 30-year sentence for that count. Justices Robert Rucker and Brent Dickson concur in a separate opinion.
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Opinions May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Michael A. Knoll and Dax G. Shephard; Appeal of: Bob Henson
14-3027
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the government on Henson’s claim he had a legal right, title or interest in the Indianapolis or Fort Wayne properties forfeited to the government after Outlaw members Knoll and Shephard pleaded guilty to racketeering charges. But Henson did not present evidence showing he had a legal right, title or interest, and his statement indicated his interest did not begin until after the raid occurred in 2012.
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Opinions May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mary K. Davis v. State of Indiana
20A03-1411-PC-408
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Orders Davis immediately released pending resolution of this appeal. The post-conviction court’s findings and conclusions were contrary to law. The state’s notice of violation was filed on the day Davis’ probation ended such that there was no period of probation to be tolled, which means the trial court could not continue her terms of probation pursuant to Ind. Code § 35-38-2-3(c).
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Opinions May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jay R. Thompson v. State of Indiana
31A01-1408-PC-350
Post conviction. Affirms grant of the state’s motion to dismiss Thompson’s post-conviction relief petition pursuant to the doctrine of laches. The state was prejudiced by his 22-year delay in prosecuting his PCR petition.
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Opinions May 7, 2015

May 7, 2015
Jonathan Grott, Sr. v. State of Indiana
64A04-1408-CR-395
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony auto theft. There is sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction, which stems from Grott's failure to return a rental car on a specific date.
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Opinions May 5, 2015

May 5, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Christopher Boultinghouse
14-2764
Chief Judge Richard Young, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Boultinghouse’s supervised release. Finds Boultinghouse knowingly and intelligently made his decision to waive his right to counsel. Vacates sentence and remands for resentencing. Rules the District Court erred by not explaining the reasons behind its decision to impose a 24-month term of imprisonment.
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Opinions May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bruce Carneil Webster v. Charles A. Daniels
14-1049
Judge William T. Lawrence, District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division.
Criminal. In a 6-5 decision, En banc review reverses 7th Circuit panel judgment that new evidence can never satisfy the habeas corpus standard of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Remands for proceedings allowing Webster to present new evidence that may demonstrate categorical and constitutional ineligibility for the death penalty. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook dissented, arguing Webster’s new evidence did not meet the “clear and convincing” language required for relief. Easterbrook was joined in dissent by Circuit Judges William J. Bauer, Michael S. Kanne, Diane S. Sykes and John Tinder.
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Opinions April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bruce Angelo Evans v. State of Indiana
48A02-1407-CR-496
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug and pleading to being a habitual substance offender. Evans waived his challenge regarding the instruction on jury unanimity by failing to object to the jury instruction or offer one of his own, and any error does not rise to the level of fundamental error. Affirms admission into evidence a large amount of cash found on Evans when he was searched by law enforcement officers after the controlled drug buy.
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Opinions April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015
 Indiana Supreme Court
James Bogner v. Teresa Bogner
45S04-1501-DR-23
Domestic relation. Affirms modification of child support that deviated from what was found under the child support guidelines of $59 a week paid by the father to $105 per week paid by the father, in addition to order that mother could claim the child each year on her taxes. The trial court did not err in determining that given the parents’ circumstances, the guideline amount was unjust and unreasonable. Finds father waived his challenge to the form of the summary proceeding when he failed to make a contemporaneous objection to that procedure. 
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Opinions April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dawn Warrick and Nathan Parrish v. Steve and Mitzi Stewart
92A03-1407-CC-257
Civil collection. Affirms grant of Steve Stewart’s motion to set aside the jury’s verdict and orders a new trial on his negligence claim against the Parrishes. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it weighed the evidence presented regarding Stewart’s speed and concluding he was not speeding. There was also ample evidence represented that the Warricks negligently failed to restrain the dog that Stewart hit, which caused his accident.

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Opinions April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Adegoke Adetokunbo aka Robert Adesanoye, and Grace Itaniyi v. State of Indiana
49A02-1407-CR-511
Criminal. Affirms Adetokunbo’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor battery, and affirms Itaniyi’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Reverses Itaniyi’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery based on insufficient evidence and remands with instructions to vacate that conviction.
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Opinions April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015
Tax. Affirms the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance did not err in denying the Clark County Board of Commissioners' request to increase the county's Cumulative Capital Development Fund tax rate for the 2012 budget year. The DLGF's consideration of the board's purpose for requesting an increase to the CCDF's tax rate was proper, and neither I.C. 6-1.1-41 nor 36-9-14.5-2 authorize an increase to the CCDF tax rate for the purposes Clark County intended.
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Opinions April 23, 2015

April 23, 2015
J.B. v. State of Indiana 
49A02-1409-JV-688
Juvenile. Affirms determination that J.B. committed what would be Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm if committed by an adult. There were no federal or state constitutional violations by admitting evidence obtained during J.B.’s encounter with a police officer.  
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Opinions April 22, 2015

April 22, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
William I. Babchuk, M.D., P.C., d/b/a Babchuk Imaging, P.C., and William I. Babchuk v. Indiana University Health Tipton Hospital, Inc., d/b/a Indiana University Health Tipton Hospital
80A04-1409-PL-447
Civil plenary. Reverses order dismissing Babchuk’s complaint of breach of contract for failure to prosecute under Trial Rule 41(E).  While the trial court would have had discretion to dismiss Babchuk’s case for failure to prosecute had a timely motion been filed, the hospital did not file its motion to dismiss before Babchuk had resumed prosecution of his case. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions April 21, 2015

April 21, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Kenneth Sandidge
14-1492
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms four-level enhancement for conviction of felon in possession of a firearm because it was in connection with another felony, and denial of three-level reduction for accepting responsibility. Remands to the trial court to vacate conditions of supervised release, which in accord with recent 7th Circuit holdings must be imposed to fit the particular circumstances of the defendant being sentenced.
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Opinions April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Stephen F. Smith v. Foegley Landscape, Inc.
71A03-1405-SC-169
Small Claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Foegley Landscape but reverses $1,500 award for attorney fees. Finds the small claims court did not have any documentation to properly evaluate the reasonableness of the fees. Remands to the small claims court to hold a hearing and determine the reasonable attorney fees.
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Opinions April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Angelique Lockett and Lanetra Lockett v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., and Cathy McGee
45A05-1407-CT-340
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Planned Parenthood on a malpractice claim, but remands to the trial court to correct the order of judgment for defendants to show that McGee, who provided identification to a 17-year-old to obtain an abortion without parental consent, is not dismissed as a defendant.
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Opinions April 16, 2015

April 16, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
James Satterfield v. State of Indiana
49A02-1409-CR-659
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to let bail following Satterfield’s arrest and charge for murder. Although Statterfield forfeited his right to appeal by not filing the notice of appeal within 30 days of the trial court order, the COA concluded his appeal deserves a determination on the merits. Remands for new hearing so Satterfield can present evidence of self-defense.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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