Opinions

Opinions Sept. 28, 2012

September 28, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Duncan v. State of Indiana
82A01-1201-CR-22
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part six convictions of Class A misdemeanor cruelty to an animal. Duncan did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial because the court did not fully advise him of his rights and obligations. Finds the animal cruelty statute is not vague as applied to him and there was sufficient evidence to overcome a defense of necessity. Remands for a jury trial.
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Opinions Sept. 27, 2012

September 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Jorman, Jr. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, et al. (NFP)
93A02-1203-EX-263
Agency action. Affirms suspension of unemployment benefits.
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Opinions Sept. 26, 2012

September 26, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sandra M. Bontrager, on her own behalf and on behalf of a class of those similarly situated v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Michael A. Gargano and Patricia Casanova
11-3710
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms grant of Bontrager’s request for a preliminary injunction in her putative class-action complaint challenging Indiana’s $1,000 annual limit for dental services covered by Medicaid. The state is required to cover all medically necessary dental services, irrespective of the monetary cap.
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Opinions Sept. 25, 2012

September 25, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Hall v. State of Indiana
13A04-1111-CR-622
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 24-year sentence for convictions of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of precursors, operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, and resisting law enforcement. The court held that a search of the vehicle that Hall fled after leading police on a chase did not implicate the Fourth Amendment and that the sentence was not inappropriate given Hall’s dangerous conduct and long record of driving and drug convictions.

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Opinions Sept. 24, 2012

September 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Russell Oney
49A05-1204-CR-196
Criminal. Reverses and remands a trial court ruling that vacated a determination that a defendant was a habitual traffic violator, holding that even though one of the predicate offenses later was vacated in post-conviction relief, the BMV’s determination that Oney was a habitual traffic offender did not constitute manifest injustice.
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Opinions Sept. 21, 2012

September 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin Taylor v. State of Indiana
49A05-1201-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony failing to register as a sex offender. Rejects argument that ankle bracelet alerted authorities Taylor was living at a different address.
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Opinions Sept. 19, 2012

September 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Carpenter v. State of Indiana
85A05-1202-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine. The police officers did not violate Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights when they entered the house’s curtilage pursuant to an arrest warrant and looked into the bathroom window. The officers also did not violate his rights under the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions Sept. 18, 2012

September 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marlon Sims v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-183
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony robbery, Class D felony criminal confinement and finding Sims is a habitual offender.
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Opinions Sept. 17, 2012

September 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Fred E. Dowell v. United States of America
10-2912
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Remands with instructions for the District Court to make a determination as to whether Dowell told his attorney to file an appeal to contest whether he was a career offender. Dowell claimed his plea agreement specifically reserved his right to appeal the career offender designation, but his attorney did not file the appeal.
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Opinions Sept. 14, 2012

September 14, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Alan Kress and Randy Carr v. CCA of Tennessee LLC, doing business as Corrections Corporation of America, et al.
11-2950
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms order denying class certification regarding the reduction of daily pill calls for inmates and granting summary judgment in favor of Corrections Corporation of America, et al., owner and operator of the Marion County Correctional Center. There was lack of evidence of any ongoing constitutional violations.
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Opinions Sept. 13, 2012

September 13, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana
35S02-1112-CR-704
Criminal. Cannot conclude that as a matter of law the defendants engaged in no conduct nor effected any result in Indiana that was an element of either the theft or the counterfeiting charge. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying sub silentio Lin’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The defendants’ airsoft gun is a written instrument within the meaning of the statute and therefore reverses the trial court’s dismissal of the counterfeiting charges. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendants’ motions to dismiss the theft and corrupt business influence charges.
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Opinions Sept. 12, 2012

September 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dezmon Gaines v. State of Indiana
34A05-1201-CR-21
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence. Indiana Code 9-19-19-4 is not void for vagueness and the officer’s search of Gaines was reasonable. Judge Crone concurs in result.
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Opinions Sept. 11, 2012

September 11, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Phillip A. Collins v. HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as Trustee for Home Equity Loan Trust Series Act 2004-HE3
45A03-1111-MF-600
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of HSBC, holding that Collins is estopped from asserting claims previously lost and litigated.
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Opinions Sept. 7, 2012

September 7, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert S. Filus v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
No. 12-1164
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey.
Civil/Social Security. Affirms denial of disability benefits, holding that substantial evidence supports the decision of the administrative law judge. 
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Opinions Sept. 5, 2012

September 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cody B. Honeycutt v. State of Indiana
92A04-1203-CR-149
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to dismiss charges on grounds that they were barred by the Successive Prosecution Statute. Because the four charges were supported by probable cause and based on a series of acts so connected that they constituted parts of a single scheme or plan, they should have been charged in a single prosecution.
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Opinions Sept. 4, 2012

September 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathan S. Berkman v. State of Indiana
45A04-1111-CR-583
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a witness unavailable or in admitting the deposition testimony of another unavailable witness. Berkman’s sentence is not inappropriate as he had argued.
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Opinions Aug. 31, 2012

August 31, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Seabrook, Dieckmann & Naville, Inc. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Monica Hilbert
93A02-1202-EX-100
Agency action. Reverses board’s conclusion that Hilbert’s employment was not terminated for just cause. Based on the evidence and testimony, Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville showed that Hilbert breached a duty in connection with work which was reasonably owed to her employer and her conduct was of such a nature that a reasonable employee would understand that the conduct was a violation of a duty owed to the funeral home. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Aug. 30, 2012

August 30, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sung Park v. Indiana University School of Dentistry, et al.
11-1933, 11-2109
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal for failure to state a claim in Park’s suit alleging equal protection and due process violations and claims for state law breach of contract. She has no state law claim for breach of contract, and Park has not identified a protectable property interest.
 
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Opinions Aug. 29, 2012

August 29, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Willis Pryor v. State of Indiana
49A02-1202-CR-101
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Pryor’s trial counsel’s failure to preserve his right to a jury trial denied Pryor effective assistance of counsel. Remands with instructions to vacate the conviction and hold a new trial by jury.
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Opinions Aug. 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angela M. Farrell v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
11-3589
Civil. Reverses District Court’s affirmation of the decision to deny disability insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration Appeals Council did not follow its own regulations which require it to consider “new and material evidence.” Also finds the administrative law judge’s residual functional capacity determination is based on an incomplete assessment of the record. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Aug. 27, 2012

August 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ian McCullough v. State of Indiana
49A02-1106-PC-571
Post-conviction relief. Affirms post-conviction court’s judgment that trial counsel was not ineffective, holding that McCullough failed to carry his burden to show that the evidence as a whole leads unerringly and unmistakably to a conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2012

August 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
MSKTD & Associates, Inc. v. CCJ Enterprises, LLC, Jeffrey Sassmannshausen, Loretta Sassmannshausen, Salin Bank & Trust Company (NFP)
02A04-1202-PL-101
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants.
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Opinions Aug. 23, 2012

August 23, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Konrad Motor and Welder Service, Inc., Konrad Lambrecht, and Sharon Lambrecht v. Magnetech Industrial Services, Inc.
45A04-1203-CC-109
Civil collection. Reverses summary judgment for Magnetech and piercing Konrad Electric’s corporate veil because there are genuine issues of material fact. Affirms summary judgment for Magnetch on whether Konrad Motor and Welder Service is the alter ego of Konrad Electric. Remands for determination whether Konrad Electric’s corporate veil should be pierced and liability imposed upon the Lambrechts. If pierced, Konrad and Sharon Lambrecht may be held individually liable. Judge Crone concurs in part and dissents in part.
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Opinions Aug. 22, 2012

August 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ashley T. Tucker v. Michelle R. Harrison, M.D.
79A05-1108-CT-404
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Dr. Harrison on Tucker’s medical malpractice complaint. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Tucker’s expert testimony, limiting her questioning of a witness about possible bias, or in instructing the jury.
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Opinions Aug. 21, 2012

August 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jason Fields v. State of Indiana
47A04-1110-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine. The trial court’s response to the jury’s mid-deliberation question did not constitute a modification of the jury instructions.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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