Opinions

Opinions Oct. 19, 2012

October 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rodney Killebrew II v. State of Indiana

34A02-1204-CR-303
Criminal. Reserves a conviction of possession of marijuana after concluding the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence obtained at an illegal traffic stop. The court found the police officer had no grounds to stop the driver because the continuous use of a turn signal is not a traffic violation and the officer’s actions did not fall within his community caretaking function.
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Opinions Oct. 18, 2012

October 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
John A. Dugan v. State of Indiana
49A05-1202-PC-50
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. The court erred when it denied Dugan’s claim that Mills applied retroactively to his habitual offender enhancement. Remands for the court to vacate that enhancement.
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Opinions Oct. 17, 2012

October 17, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
J.M. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and T.C.
Agency appeal. Finds the court may rely on a different statutory ground of a just cause finding than the one relied upon by the review board when, as here, the review board’s findings of fact clearly establish the alternate subsection’s applicability. Affirms the review board under Indiana Code section 22-4-15-1(d)(5), that J.M. refused to obey instructions, and was thus fired for just cause. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.
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Opinions Oct. 16, 2012

October 16, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Mitchell v. State of Indiana
49A02-1202-CR-125
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class D felony theft. The evidence is sufficient to show Mitchell and the other defendants knowingly exerted unauthorized control over the apartment complex’s water heater with the intent to deprive the apartments of any part of its value or use. The advisory sentence imposed, with all but 60 days suspended to probation, was not inappropriate.
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Opinions Oct. 15, 2012

October 15, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ted L. Cecil, Cecil Septic LLC, and Max Haas Company, LLC v. Fisk Excavating, Plumbing and Septic Services, Inc., Dennis Fisk, Dennis Fisk, Jr.,Michelle Fisk, Bob Murphy, et al. (NFP)
33A05-1112-MI-686
Miscellaneous. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Fisk Excavating and other defendants on the plaintiffs’ legal malpractice claim. Remands for determination of Gregg Morelock’s appellate attorney fees.
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Opinions Oct. 12, 2012

October 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Riggs and Mark Ashmann v. Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., Mark Weinberger, M.D., P.C., Merrillville Center for Advanced Surgery, LLC, and Nose and Sinus Center, LLC
45A03-1109-CT-394
Civil tort. Reaffirms original opinion in all respects, and finds that a trial court when confronted with the facts and circumstances like those in this case, may compel an involuntary psychiatric examination in accordance with Ind. Trial Rule 35. There is no requirement that the court must do so.
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Opinions Oct. 11, 2012

October 11, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Edward Jeroski, doing business as USA Cleaning Service and Building Maintenance v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission and U.S. Secretary of Labor
11-3687
Agency review. Denies USA Cleaning’s petition to review the order of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, which affirmed the denial of an application for attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. The meaning of “prevailing party” under the act does not apply to USA Cleaning, which was the subject of an order by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration that was later dropped.
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Opinions Oct. 10, 2012

October 10, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Charles R. Kastner v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
11-1166
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial of disability benefits, finding the administrative law judge did not adequately explain why Kastner had not met the requirements for a presumptive disability. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 9, 2012

October 9, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ralph Jennings d/b/a A Cut Above Tree Service v. Terrance Kinnard (NFP)
49A05-1203-CC-117
Collections. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of relief to Kinnard from a default judgment of $4,189.22 for the plaintiff.
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Opinions Oct. 5, 2012

October 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Heartland Crossing Foundation, Inc. v. Chris M. Dotlich
55A01-1203-SC-119
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Dotlich on a breach of contract claim, holding that the trial court did not err in rejecting Heartland’s claim for attorney fees assessed on the late payment of homeowner association dues. The trial court had called an “administrative fee” assessed to Dotlich “nothing more than an abusive junk fee.”
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Opinions Oct. 4, 2012

October 4, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angelina Povey v. City of Jeffersonville, Indiana
11-1896
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the city on Povey’s claim that her termination of employment by the city animal shelter violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and on her retaliation claim. Povey failed to meet her burden to demonstrate that she was disabled under the ADA and is not protected by its provisions.
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Opinions Oct. 3, 2012

October 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven B. Steele v. State of Indiana
49A05-1202-CR-54
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. Evidence Rule 617 does not apply in this case because the police officer’s interrogation of Steele did not occur in a place of detention. The rule also does not explicitly or implicitly impose an affirmative duty on law enforcement officers to transport a person to a place of detention before conducting a custodial interrogation.
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Opinions Oct. 2, 2012

October 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Moise Joseph v. State of Indiana
82A05-1108-CR-387
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class A felony burglary resulting in serious bodily injury, Class B felony attempted armed robbery and Class B felony criminal confinement. The trial court abused its discretion in admitting Joseph’s statements to the police detective.
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Opinions Oct. 1, 2012

October 1, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott F. West v. State of Indiana
11A01-1203-CR-123
Criminal. Orders discharge of marijuana charges because West was held to answer those charges for more than a year without a trial date while a motion to suppress awaited a ruling. West did not request an indefinite continuance such that he needed to notify the court that he wished to proceed to trial.
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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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  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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