Opinions

Opinions Dec. 29, 2014

December 29, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles P. White v. State of Indiana

29A05-1312-PC-641
Post conviction. Affirms White’s convictions for perjury, voting in the wrong precinct and theft. Finds White was convicted twice for the same actions in violation of double jeopardy. Reverses White’s other convictions for perjury and voting in the wrong precinct as well as another perjury conviction for putting the wrong address on his marriage license application. Remands with instructions that the trial court vacate those three convictions. Concludes White’s attorney, Carl Brizzi, was not ineffective. Holds White’s sentence to one-year of home detention remains.
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Opinions Dec. 24, 2014

December 24, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lloyd G. Perry v. Anonymous Physican 1, Alias Medical Group 1, Inc., Anonymous Physican 2, et al.
02A03-1401-CT-43
Civil Tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of healthcare providers. Finds Perry did not submit expert testimony as required by court rules to support his medical malpractice claim.  
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Opinions Dec. 23, 2014

December 23, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re the Adoption of B.C.H.
41S04-1408-AD-515
Adoption. Vacates the trial court’s decision to grant stepfather’s petition to adopt B.C.H. and remands for a hearing on the child’s best interests in the adoption and other proceedings consistent with this opinion. At this hearing, the grandparents, who had primary custody of B.C.H. for the first four years of her life, shall be given the opportunity to give or withhold consent to the child’s adoption. They were not served with legal notice of the adoption.
 
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Opinions Dec. 22, 2014

December 22, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Milford J. Clark
12-1417
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction for bank robbery. Clark was not deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to proceed pro se. Any errors in admission of evidence were harmless since Clark met the physical description of the robber and his DNA was found at the bank.
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Opinions Dec. 19, 2014

December 19, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher Duncan v. State of Indiana
09A05-1312-CR-613
Criminal. Reverses conviction of identity deception because the state did not prove that the name and birth date Duncan falsely gave to police belonged to a real person. Remands with instructions to vacate that conviction and sentence as well as the conviction and sentence for Class D felony pointing a firearm because of double jeopardy principles. Also remands for the court to reduce his resisting law enforcement conviction to a Class A misdemeanor due to double jeopardy principles.
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Opinions Dec. 18, 2014

December 18, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Rodregus Morgan v. State of Indiana
49S02-1405-CR-325
Criminal. Vacates conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication as the requirements for conviction under Indiana’s public intoxication statute have not been met. An objective reasonable person standard should be read into Indiana’s public intoxication statute when applying the term “annoys.” Under that reading, the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.
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Opinions Dec. 17, 2014

December 17, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Shawn Blount v. State of Indiana
49S02-1405-CR-338
Criminal. Affirms conviction of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm. A detective’s testimony that a witness identified Blount as the suspect was inadmissible hearsay, but it was a harmless error. There was no variance between the charging information and the evidence presented at trial.
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Opinions Dec. 16, 2014

December 16, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Mark Rolley v. Melissa Rolley
87S01-1412-DR-739
Domestic relation. Affirms modification of child support order. Rules in a per curiam decision that ruling by Indiana Court of Appeals that an order of child support could be modified either because a substantial and continuing change in circumstances or, after 12 months, a 20 percent deviation.
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Opinions Dec. 15, 2014

December 15, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Goodrich Quality Theaters, Inc. and Roncelli, Inc. v. Fostcorp Heating and Cooling, Inc., Wilson Iron Works, Inc., et. al.
64A03-1308-PL-318
Civil plenary. Reaffirms previous ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court erred in awarding attorney fees to Fostcorp Heating and Cooling, Wilson Iron Works and Johnson Carpet. Since the general contractor, Roncelli Inc., was not the property owner, it is not liable for payment of attorney fees. Judge Patricia Riley voted to deny rehearing.
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Opinions Dec. 12, 2014

December 12, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Central Mutual Insurance Company v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Company
49A04-1405-CT-214
Civil tort. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court order denying Central’s motion for partial summary judgment and granting Motorists’ motion for partial summary judgment. The trial court did not err in finding that Central provided primary coverage to a truck driver injured in a crash and that the Motorists policy provided excess coverage only when the limits of the Central policy had been reached.
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Opinions Dec. 11, 2014

December 11, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin L. Harold v. Christopher C. Steel and Peters & Steel LLC
14-1875
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Harold’s lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, contending Steel and his law firm had violated 15 U.S.C. Section 1692e by making false statements. Harold sought to challenge a garnishment order entered in state court. The Rooker-Feldmen doctrine bars his lawsuit.
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Opinions Dec. 10, 2014

December 10, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeal
Robert D. DeLee v. City of Plymouth, Indiana
14-1970
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the city on police officer DeLee’s lawsuit that he is entitled to his full longevity payment from the city for the year he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for eight months. Plymouth’s longevity benefit is more appropriately characterized as a reward for lengthy service rather than as compensation for work performed the preceding year, so the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act guarantees DeLee a fully longevity payment for his 12th year of employment. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 9, 2014

December 9, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kolyann Williams v. State of Indiana
34A02-1406-CR-418
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor marijuana possession stemming from a traffic stop. Concludes the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to believe that Williams had committed an infraction that supported stopping his car.
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Opinions Dec. 8, 2014

December 8, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Randal L. Young v. Indiana Department of Correction, Bruce Lemmon, David J. Donahue, Stanley Knight, et al.
32A05-1403-MI-148
Miscellaneous. Affirms the DOC’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates, which says the credit time sought must be credit time that was deprived during the offender’s current sentence. The policy does not result in disparate treatment and does not unconstitutionally discriminate against offenders who are ordered to serve consecutive sentences.
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Opinions Dec. 5, 2014

December 5, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of the Adoption of Minor Children: J.T.D. and J.S.: Ind. Dept. of Child Services v. N.E.
45S03-1406-AD-387
Adoption. Reverses trial court decision to not transfer cases from the civil division, which includes probate, to the juvenile division, which is where adoptions must be filed based on a local rule. Lake Superior Court’s four statutory divisions are not jurisdictional, and are merely descriptive of venue, so there is no conflict between the statute and the caseload allocation plan. Remands with instructions.
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Opinions Dec. 4, 2014

December 4, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re: The Carroll County 2013 Tax Sale: Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District v. Richard C. Ray and Patricia A. Alford, et al.
08S04-1402-MI-97
Miscellaneous. The lien foreclosure prohibition of Indiana Code 13-26-14-4, governing the collection of regional sewer district sewer liens, does not apply to collection by tax sale. Here, because the sewer district employed the tax sale method and did not seek collection of the appellees' unpaid sewer bills and penalties through the lien foreclosure method, the lien foreclosure prohibition clause does not apply. The judgment of the trial court removing the Ray and Alford properties from the tax sale list is reversed, and this cause is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
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Opinions Dec. 3, 2014

December 3, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
S.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1406-JV-377
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult.

 
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Opinions Dec. 2, 2014

December 2, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Emily Herx v. Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, Inc. and St. Vincent de Paul School
14-3057
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division.
Judge Robert Miller Jr.
Civil. Grants Emily Herx’s motion to dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction. Rejects the argument from the diocese for a collateral-order review, finding the church’s interest will not be irreparably harmed by waiting for the District Court to issue a final judgment.
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Opinions Dec. 1, 2014

December 1, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. William Boswell
13-3641
Appeals from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 235-month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The admission of evidence that Boswell had a gun tattoo on his neck was not an abuse of discretion because it served to impeach his testimony, and the sentence under the ACCA did not have to be alleged in the indictment.
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Opinions Nov. 26, 2014

November 26, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Crystal Valley Sales Inc., Charles Kline, and Nancy Kline v. Jonathan Anderson, National Sales Company Inc., Rodger Anderson, Camco Manufacturing, and Norm Geible
20A04-1402-PL-83
Civil Plenary. Affirmed trial court’s dismissal of civil conspiracy claims against National Sales Company Inc., Rodger Anderson, Camco Manufacturing Inc. and Norm Geible for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Finds Crystal Valley did not provide sufficient facts to show that the co-defendants engaged in unlawful actions. Rejects Crystal Valley’s argument that its civil conspiracy count is sufficient by itself to claim the co-defendants helped Jonathan breach his contractual or fiduciary duties.
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Opinions Nov. 25, 2014

November 25, 2014
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Opinions Nov. 24, 2014

November 24, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Antonio Smith v. State of Indiana
71A04-1312-CR-609
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class C felony burglary, finding the state knowingly proffered perjured testimony from a witness who had previously pleaded guilty to the break-in of a Dollar General store that Smith also was charged with. The state had a duty to correct perjured testimony and should have joined in the defense’s request for a mistrial. The court referred the case to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission with a caution: “We also note that instances of prosecutorial misbehavior continue to come before us on appeal notwithstanding our admonishments.”
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Opinions Nov. 21, 2014

November 21, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Deriq Watters v. State of Indiana
34A02-1403-CR-215
Criminal.  Reverses revocation of probation. The evidence used to revoke Watters’ probation was inadmissible.
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Opinions Nov. 20, 2014

November 20, 2014
Indiana Tax Court
The City of Greenfield and the Greenfield Fire Protection Territory v. The Ind. Dep't of Local Government Finance
49T10-1111-TA-67
Tax.  Reverses reduction by the Department of Local Government Finance of the Greenfield Fire Protection Territory’s general fund levy for the 2012 budget year. Public Law 172-2011, Section 164 contravenes the special legislation provisions set forth in Article 4, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions Nov. 19, 2014

November 19, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Sharon Handy v. P.C, Building Materials, Inc., PC Properties, LLC, David A. Stemler, and Karen L. Stemler
22A01-1403-CT-125
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of P.C. Building Materials and other defendants on Handy’s negligence claim. There are genuine issues of material fact that remain for a determination by a jury. Remands for further proceedings.
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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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