Opinions

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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Opinions April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Toddrick Ogburn v. State of Indiana
82A01-1509-CR-1546
Criminal. Reverses and remands Toddrick Ogburn’s conviction of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in an amount greater than 10 pounds, a Class C felony, because the court abused its discretion by admitting evidence in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
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Opinions April 15, 2016

April 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Paul Angel v. Vanderburgh County Treasurer and Townsquare Media, LLC
82A04-1511-MI-1902
Miscellaneous. Reverses and remands order denying Paul Angel’s motion to establish redemption amount, finding Angel is entitled to recover from Townsquare Media under Ind. Code 6-1.1-25-12. Remands for determination of amount Angel is entitled to recover.
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Opinions April 14, 2016

April 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mason W. Meunier-Short v. State of Indiana
32A01-1507-CR-968
Criminal. Remands to trial court to conduct an indigency hearing at some point before Mason Meunier-Short’s probation ends. Vacates part of order imposing a $200 substance abuse fee and $200 alcohol and drug countermeasures fee. Reverses condition that would require Meunier-Short to go to school and maintain a “C” average and remands for the court to amend the probation order to give him the option to maintain fulltime employment or faithfully pursue a course of study that will equip him for suitable employment.
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Opinions April 13, 2016

April 13, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinions were issued after IL deadline Tuesday.

William Clyde Gibson III v State of Indiana

22S00-1206-DP-00360.
Criminal. Affirms death sentence for William Clyde Gibson in murder of Stephanie Kirk, finding the trial court did not err and the sentence is not inappropriate.
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Opinions April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Scott Hitch v. State of Indiana
49S02-1506-CR-376
Criminal. Affirms there was no violation of Scott Hitch’s Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury and evidence was sufficient to sustain his conviction of battery as a Class A misdemeanor and that he committed a crime of domestic violence. Justice Massa concurs in result with separate opinion in which Justice Dickson joins.
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Opinions April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dorothea Bragg, on Behalf of Herself and All Others Similarly Situated v. Kittle's Home Furnishings, Inc.
49A02-1506-PL-653
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Kittle’s on all claims raised by former employee Dorothea Bragg against the store. Bragg alleged Kittle’s failed to pay employees earned commissions within the 10-day limit set forth in the Indiana Wage Payment Statute.

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Opinions April 8, 2016

April 8, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Joshua S. Black v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
33A01-1509-CR-1361
Criminal. Affirms Level 5 felony conviction of dealing in methamphetamine, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Joshua Black’s motion to withdraw a guilty plea.
 

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Opinions April 7, 2016

April 7, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Community Health Network v. Pamela D. Bails
49A05-1512-PL-2059
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands motion to correct error, which vacated an agreed judgment between Pamela Bails and Community Health Network from Decatur Township Small Claims Court. An agreed judgment is not appealable, absent fraud.
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Opinions April 6, 2016

April 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Larry J. Jernas and R & R Horse Haven, Inc. v. Kevin J. Gumz
75A03-1511-CC-1903
Civil collection. Affirms Kevin Gumz can keep $25,000 deposit after sale of real estate did not go through. Rejects claims the agreement was invalid because it was indefinite or not properly executed.
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Opinions April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Michael Ackerman v. State of Indiana
49S00-1409-CR-770
Criminal. Affirms Michael Ackerman’s conviction and sentence for second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The court found an admission of an autopsy report into evidence does not violate the defendant’s right to confront witnesses against him when the pathologist who performed the autopsy against him was not available to testify.
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Opinions April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Richard Lee Dulin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

79A05-1508-CR-1155
Criminal. Affirms sentence of five years with two suspended to probation for conviction of Level 5 felony operating a vehicle while privileges are suspended for life and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.
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Opinions March 31, 2016

March 31, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Noe Escamilla v. Shiel Sexton Company, Inc.
54A01-1506-CT-602
Civil tort. Affirms denial of Noe Escamillia’s motion in limine, ruling that evidence of his immigration status would be admissible and his expert testimony based on future lost wages based on what he could have made in the U.S. would not be admissible. Affirms grant of Shiel Sexton’s motion to exclude Escamillia’s experts. Remands for further proceedings. Judge John Baker dissents.
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Opinions March 30, 2016

March 30, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. Brian J. Taylor

46S04-1509-CR-552
Criminal. Reverses and remands the prospective blanket suppression of police officers’ testimony in a murder case. Even though the officers’ testimony is presumptively tainted by the eavesdropping, they may yet have an independent basis for certain limited testimony.
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Opinions March 29, 2016

March 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
3155 Development Way, LLC v. APM Rental Properties, LLC
10A01-1508-PL-1235
Civil plenary. Affirms rescission of a contract to purchase a tract of land after the court found a company relied on a misrepresentation to purchase it.
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Opinions March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rogers Group, Inc. v. Tippecanoe County, et al.
79A02-1506-PL-694
Civil plenary. Affirms one zoning ordinance as enforceable and a second not enforceable. Tippecanoe County’s requirement of a special exception to mine in a flood plain is valid and enforceable, but a quarry ban that prohibits new mines within two miles of residential areas is not because it was not enacted in accordance with Indiana’s zoning statutes.
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Opinions March 24, 2016

March 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of: D.W. (Minor Child), and, T.W. (Mother) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services
45A03-1507-JC-842
Juvenile. Dismisses appeal of order terminating mother’s visitation with her daughter and denying her motion to modify a CHINS action. Dismisses for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the trial court’s order is not a final judgment.
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Opinions March 23, 2016

March 23, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cheryl L. Underwood v. Thomas Bunger, in his capacity as the Personal Representative of The Estate of Kenneth K. Kinney; Judith M. Fulford; and Sheree Demming
53A01-1509-MI-1305
Miscellaneous. Affirms grant of the estate of Kenneth K. Kinney’s motion to dismiss. The estate was not a proper defendant in Underwood’s claim for partition.
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Opinions March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016

Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana, Acting on Behalf of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration v. International Business Machines Corporation  

49S02-1408-PL-513.
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling that IBM was not in material breach of its master services agreement to administer Indiana’s welfare systems under a $1.3 billion contract that the state terminated for cause. Summarily affirms the Court of Appeals on all other  issues:  affirming the trial court’s award of $40 million in assignment fees and $9,510,795 in equipment fees to IBM; affirming the trial court’s denial of deferred fees to IBM; and reversing the trial court’s award of $2,570,621 in early termination close out payments and $10,632,333 in prejudgment interest to IBM. Remands to the trial court to determine the amount of fees IBM is entitled to for two change orders, and for calculation of the parties’ damages, including any appropriate offsets to the state as a result of IBM’s material breach of the MSA.   

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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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