Opinions

Opinions March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Curtis A. Bethea v. State of Indiana
18S05-1206-PC-304
Post conviction. Affirms trial court denial of post-conviction relief, holding that Curtis Bethea, who pleaded guilty to armed robbery and criminal confinement in a deal that dropped seven other felony counts, was not improperly denied post-conviction relief when a judge considered evidence of charges that were dismissed.

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Opinions March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bay Colony Civic Corporation v. Pearl Gasper Trust and Bruce F. Waller
49A05-1207-PL-365
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling in favor of Gasper and Waller, holding that a public easement to a reservoir also grants access to the water and not just to the land adjacent to the water, and that a neighborhood association did not violate its bylaws by spending money to improve access to the lake for residents. Remands to the trial court to grant the association’s motion for partial summary judgment.
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Opinions March 8, 2013

March 8, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Supervised Estate of Evelyn Garrard; Ronald Garrard v. Debra L. Teibel and Douglas Grimmer and Debra Lindsay
45A03-1111-PL-547
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgments in favor of Teibel, Grimmer and Lindsay, holding that Garrard had waived all issues on appeal and failed to show an issue of material fact existed. The court also warned Garrard about language in pleadings that disparaged other parties to the litigation and the bench.

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Opinions March 7, 2013

March 7, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re: Visitation M.L.B.: K.J.R. v. M.A.B.
41S01-1209-MI-556
Miscellaneous. Rules despite the trial court’s ample “best interests” findings, the lack of findings on the other three factors, both standing alone and as compounded by the extensive visitation awarded without those necessary findings, violates Mother’s fundamental right to direct M.L.B.’s upbringing. Remands for a new entry of findings and conclusions revealing the court’s consideration of all four McCune/K.I. factors, without a new hearing.
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Opinions March 6, 2013

March 6, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Holiday Hospitality Franchising, Inc. v. Amco Insurance Company
33S01-1206-CT-312
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Amco Insurance Co. on its motion for declaratory judgment to enforce its reading of the insurance contract with the hotel disclaiming coverage for, and its duty to defend against, a civil complaint brought by a motel guest molested by an off-duty motel employee. The facts of the case reflect precisely the sort of scenario contemplated by the parties to be excluded from coverage when they agreed to the insurance contract. Chief Justice Dickson concurs and Justice Rucker dissents.
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Opinions March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Williams, Jr. v. State of Indiana
30A01-1207-CR-305
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class B felonies burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary, and Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license. Williams’ trial counsel’s performance was deficient by failing to object under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b) to the admission of evidence of William’s previous bad acts and convictions. Remands for a new trial.

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Opinions March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Securities and Exchange Commission v. First Choice Management Services Inc., et al.
12-3308
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Affirms $600,000 sanction against SonCo for contempt of court by not following a court order. The $600,000 is actually a gross understatement of the harm caused by SonCo’s contempt for failing to take over operation of Alco’s wells within 90 days as ordered.
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Opinions Feb. 28, 2013

February 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Verdyer Clark v. State of Indiana
49A04-1202-CR-66
Criminal. Grants rehearing for clarification and affirms in all respects. Holds that the determination whether the age of a perpetrator is relevant to a child victim’s medical diagnosis or treatment is best left to another case.
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Opinions Feb. 27, 2013

February 27, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lamont Holloway v. State of Indiana
49A02-1207-CR-548
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft. The evidence was sufficient to support the convictions.
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Opinions Feb. 26, 2013

February 26, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Paul M. Brock v. State of Indiana
79A04-1208-CR-433
Criminal. Affirms trial court sentence of 12 years on convictions of Class C felony auto theft; Class D felony intimidation; Class A misdemeanors resisting law enforcement, striking a law enforcement animal, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated; and a habitual offender enhancement. The court held that the sentence was not impermissible double enhancement, was not inappropriate, and that the court did not abuse its discretion when it considered Brock’s prior behavior while incarcerated.
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Opinions Feb. 25, 2013

February 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jose Maldonado-Morales v. State of Indiana
20A05-1205-CR-255
Criminal. Affirms Class D felony conviction of domestic battery, ruling that a jury instruction on the doctrine of transferred intent was not an abuse of discretion and that the state was not required to prove that Maldonado-Morales knowingly or intentionally struck his ex-wife in the presence of their child.  

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Opinions Feb. 22, 2013

February 22, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
K.W. v. State of Indiana
49S02-1301-JV-20
Juvenile. Affirms Court of Appeals reversal of trial court ruling designating K.W. a delinquent for resisting law enforcement, and orders the delinquency adjudication vacated. Justices held that evidence was insufficient that K.W. acted “forcibly” to resist a school resource officer when he pulled away as the officer was attempting to handcuff him.
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Opinions Feb. 21, 2013

February 21, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Curtis Tyrell Cutler v. State of Indiana

71A05-1206-CR-339
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary. Finds there was sufficient evidence to warrant a jury finding beyond a reasonable doubt that Cutler committed the burglary. Holds the trial court did not err in permitting the use of a statement Cutler made to police for impeachment.

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Opinions Feb. 20, 2013

February 20, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Columbus Regional Hospital v. Federal Emergency Management Agency
12-2007
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of FEMA on the hospital’s lawsuit seeking $20 more in federal aid following a flood in 2006. Holds the District Court is the proper venue for the hospital’s lawsuit. Rejects the hospital’s claims that it is entitled to the cost of new equipment instead of cost less depreciation and that FEMA should not have deducted from the aid the $25 million it received from insurance.

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Opinions Feb. 19, 2013

February 19, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Ronald B. Hawkins v. State of Indiana
20S03-1208-DR-499
Domestic relation. Vacates convictions of two counts of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent where Hawkins was tried in absentia. The record indicates that Hawkins’ failure to appear at trial did not constitute a waiver of his right to counsel. Remands for a new trial.

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Opinions Feb. 18, 2013

February 18, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jim A. Edsall v. State of Indiana
57A03-1205-CR-240
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to five counts of Class A felony delivery of methamphetamine and one count of Class A felony conspiracy to manufacture meth. There is no indication that the trial court considered alleged inaccurate and irrelevant testimony when sentencing him, and his sentence is appropriate based on his character and nature of his offenses. Reverses order of restitution as part of Edsall’s sentence because the trial court had not authority to order restitution in this case.
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Opinions Feb. 15, 2013

February 15, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
South Shore Baseball, LLC d/b/a Gary South Shore Railcats, and Northwest Sports Venture, LLC v. Juanita DeJesus
45A03-1205-CT-222
Civil tort. Reverses denial of summary judgment for South Shore Baseball on DeJesus’ lawsuit filed after she was hit by a foul ball at a game. As a matter of law, the appellants can’t be held liable for her injuries. Remands with instructions for the court to issue summary judgment in favor of South Shore Baseball.
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Opinions Feb. 14, 2013

February 14, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
In the matter of: Castleton Plaza LP; Appeal of: El-SNPR Notes Holdings LLC
12-2639
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Basil H. Lorch III.
Bankruptcy. Holds an equity investor cannot evade the competitive process by arranging for the new value to be contributed by (and the new equity to go to) an “insider” as 11 U.S.C. Section 101(31) defines that term. Competition is essential whenever a plan of reorganization leaves an objecting creditor unpaid yet distributes an equity interest to an insider.
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Opinions Feb. 13, 2013

February 13, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jesus Uribe
11-3590
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Affirms decision granting Uribe’s motion to suppress heroin found after traffic stop. The government failed to show that the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop Uribe’s vehicle to investigate why its registration was tied to a white Nissan whereas the Nissan Uribe was driving was blue. Investigatory stops based on color discrepancies alone are insufficient to give rise to reasonable suspicion.
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Opinions Feb. 11, 2013

February 11, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Gray v. State of Indiana
49A02-1205-CR-352
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence of Class D felony possession of cocaine, holding that the court erred in failing to allow a defendant to play a tape of an officer’s deposition that contained inconsistent statements, but that the error was harmless because other evidence at trial strongly pointed to Gray’s guilt.
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Opinions Feb. 8, 2013

February 8, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Billy Russell v. State of Indiana
49A04-1203-CR-148
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence on charges of murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The panel found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to completely bifurcate the trial of the SVF charge from the murder charge or in refusing to tender Russell’s self-defense jury instruction. The court also determined the 85-year sentence was not inappropriate.

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Opinions Feb. 7, 2013

February 7, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jurijus Kadamovas v. Michael Stevens, et al.
12-2669
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of prisoner Kadamovas’ lawsuit against prison officials and other inmates for unintelligibility. The suit is actually written clearly and not 99 pages as the judge believed, but just 28 pages. Remands for further consideration.
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Opinions Feb. 6, 2013

February 6, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Walter E. Smith, Jr. v. State of Indiana
84A04-1112-CR-637
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to use Smith’s tendered instruction because the substance of that instruction was covered by instructions given by the court nor in refusing to discharge Smith pursuant to Criminal Rule 4(B). The trial court also did not abuse its discretion in admitting at trial the cocaine evidence seized pursuant to a valid search warrant.

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Opinions Feb. 5, 2013

February 5, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ignacio Perez v. State of Indiana
20A03-1206-CR-247
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. Finds the detention, arrest and search incident to the arrest were reasonable and did not violate Perez’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. The dog sniff outside his residence was reasonable and there was no violation of his rights under the Indiana Constitution. Remands for retrial.
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Opinions Feb. 4, 2013

February 4, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Connie S. Landers v. Wabash Center, Inc.
79A04-1204-CT-191
Civil tort. Affirms judgment for Wabash Center Inc. in its lawsuit against Landers for the return of money her ex-husband stole from his employer Wabash and gave to her during and after their marriage. The court ordered she pay more than $1.037 million and granted Wabash an equitable lien on her home. Wabash’s lawsuit is not barred by the statute of limitations and the ruling is supported by sufficient evidence.
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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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