Opinions

Opinions Oct. 24, 2012

October 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Leslie Ann Grider v. State of Indiana
48A02-1112-CR-1156
Criminal. Reverses 19-year sentence following guilty pleas to two counts of Class C felony forgery, four counts of Class D felony theft, and two counts of Class D felony check fraud. The language of the plea agreement indicates the parties’ intention that the trial court would impose concurrent sentences on all counts regardless of the separate cause numbers. Orders Grider’s sentences to be concurrent for a total of eight years.
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Opinions Oct. 23, 2012

October 23, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., et al., v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, et al.
11-2464
Civil. Reverses in part and affirms in part, affirming the district court injunction against I.C. 5-22-17-5.5(b) that bars state or federal funding for “any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.” The circuit court held that Medicaid grants individual rights under federal civil rights protections, but reversed the district court with regard to federal block grant funds, holding that no such actionable protection exists.
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Opinions Oct. 22, 2012

October 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wayne Evans v. Duke Energy Indiana, Inc. (NFP)
10A01-1111-PL-539
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court injunction prohibiting construction in a utility easement.
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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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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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