Opinions

Opinions Feb. 10, 2011

February 10, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Killbuck Concerned Citizens Association v. J.M. Corporation and Ralph Reed
48S00-1003-PL-158
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court grant of J.M. Corporation’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that Indiana Code Section 13-20-2-11, which would require further review and approval of zoning, violated the Indiana Constitution and remands for further proceedings. Declines to decide the constitutional issue, but finds because J.M. Corporation’s facilities accepted wasted before April 1, 2008, Indiana Code Section 13-20-2-11 doesn’t apply.
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Opinions Feb. 9, 2011

February 9, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Dept. of State Revenue v. Belterra Resort Indiana, LLC
49S10-1010-TA-519
Tax. Grants rehearing to address the question of whether Belterra is subject to a tax penalty. Remands to the Indiana Tax Court to determine the timeliness of Belterra’s argument and, if timely, whether Belterra is subject to the penalty and, if so, whether the penalty should be waived. Affirms original opinion in all other respects. Justice Dickson concurs in result, believing the rehearing should also be granted to revisit the previous decision on the “step transaction” issue.
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Opinions Feb. 8, 2011

February 8, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Mariea L. Best v. Russell C. Best
06S05-1102-CV-73
Civil. Affirms trial court grant of primary physical custody of M.B. to father. The trial court made the necessary findings that there has been a substantial change in one or more of the statutory factors and that the modification of physical custody is in M.B.’s best interests. Reverses the finding that the mother is in contempt. Justice Sullivan dissented and would deny transfer. Justice David did not participate.
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Opinions Feb. 7, 2011

February 7, 2011
Ricky E. Graham v. State of Indiana
22A01-1008-PC-392
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction relief court properly rejected Graham’s claims of an inadequate factual basis or ineffective assistance of appellate counsel, and claims of fundamental error. The PCR court’s findings don’t support its rejection of his claim that his plea was illusory or involuntary. Remands for a new PCR hearing to address that issue and the question of the effectiveness of his trial counsel on the grounds raised in his PCR petition, should he resubmit his subpoena request for his trial counsel to appear at the new hearing.
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Opinions Feb. 4, 2011

February 4, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Terry Likens, et al. v. Prickett's Properties, Inc., et al.
43A03-1008-PL-455
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Prickett’s Properties Inc. and Realtor Jack Stump in the Likenses’ suit alleging negligence/breach of agency duty. According to Indiana Code Chapter 25-34.1-10, the only duty Stump owed the sellers is to treat them honestly and not knowingly give them false information. The Likenses do not allege on appeal that he breached this duty.
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Opinions Feb. 3, 2011

February 3, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Clifton Mauricio v. State of Indiana
02S03-1009-PC-501
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief and remands for re-sentencing. The Supreme Court cannot say that the trial court would have sentenced Mauricio to 50 years notwithstanding its reference to a statute that was later held to be inapplicable.
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Opinions Feb. 2, 2011

February 2, 2011
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court are closed today due to the weather.
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Opinions Feb. 1, 2011

February 1, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Derrick L. Bullock
10-2238
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Bullock pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute at least five grams but less than fifty grams of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). His plea was conditioned on his ability to appeal the District Court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence of the crack that led to his conviction. Affirms District Court ruling there was reasonable suspicion to detain Bullock during the search, probable cause existed to arrest Bullock for visiting a common nuisance under Indiana law after police found marijuana in plain view and other evidence of recurrent and widespread drug activity within the residence. His detention was lawful under principles set forth in Terry v. Ohio, and the subsequent arrest was supported by probable cause.
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Opinions Jan. 31, 2011

January 31, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cynthia L. Foley v. Robert L. Schwartz and Danny L. Collins
78A04-1005-CT-305
Civil tort. Reverses grant of Schwartz’s motion to dismiss Foley’s complaint following an ATV accident on Collins’ property. The trial court erred when it granted Schwartz’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Jan. 28, 2011

January 28, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Keith Eberle v. State of Indiana
58A01-1003-CR-105
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony intimidation, Class C felony stalking, and two counts of Class B misdemeanor harassment due to text messages and phone calls from Eberle to an employer-issued cell phone that belonged to an Ohio County jail matron.
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Opinions Jan. 27, 2011

January 27, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tony E. Bennett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
25A03-1008-CR-422
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to three counts of Class D felony theft.
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Opinions Jan. 26, 2011

January 26, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Ty Brock
10-2385
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress items found in Brock’s car during a checkpoint stop. Because the checkpoint was neither objectively nor subjectively intrusive in any way that would outweigh the government’s interest in operating it, the checkpoint stop didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment rights.
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Opinions Jan. 25, 2011

January 25, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Adoption of L.C.E.; D.H. v. J.H. and J.D.E.
47A05-1008-AD-474
Adoption. Reverses adoption of L.C.E. by his maternal grandfather J.D.E. The stepfather, D.H., had custody of L.C.E. and his consent is required for the adoption of L.C.E. The trial court erred in granting the grandfather’s petition prior to the expiration of the 30 days provided for objection to be filed and prior to receiving D.H.’s properly filed objection.
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Opinions Jan. 24, 2011

January 24, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Applications of Heraeus Kulzer, GmbH, for orders compelling discovery for use in a foreign proceeding v. Biomet Inc., et al.
09-2858, 10-2639
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial of applications to compel discovery for use in a lawsuit pending in a foreign court. The District Court committed two serious legal errors in its denial – concluding Heraeus Kulzer was trying to circumvent German law and turning down the company’s discovery request flat. Remands for further proceedings consistent with the opinion.
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Opinions Jan. 21, 2011

January 21, 2011

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Maria Tara Sutherland v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
10-2214
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Wal-Mart on Sutherland’s hostile work environment and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims. She did not present evidence that would allow a jury to conclude Wal-Mart is liable for the assault committed against her by Aguas.

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Opinions Jan. 20, 2011

January 20, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathaniel Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-466
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug.
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Opinions Jan. 19, 2011

January 19, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Anthony L. Smith v. Gilbert Peters, et al.
10-1013
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Reverses District Court’s dismissal of Smith’s civil rights suit alleging prison employees violated his First and Eighth Amendment rights. Prison officials who recklessly expose a prisoner to a substantial risk of a serious physical injury may have violated a prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights and therefore are subject to those remedies that aren’t barred by 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(e). Also if the facts alleged in the complaint are true, Smith may have been punished for complaining about mistreatment. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Jan. 18, 2011

January 18, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Desmond Parks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1003-CR-174
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery.
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Opinions Jan. 17, 2011

January 17, 2011
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
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Opinions Jan. 14, 2011

January 14, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John M. Stephenson v. Bill Wilson, Superintendent of Indiana State Prison
09-2924
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Order. Petition for rehearing en banc is denied. Panel previously reversed District Court’s finding that Stephenson received ineffective assistance of counsel because the attorney didn’t object to Stephenson’s wearing a stun belt in court. Judges Rovner, Williams, and Hamilton dissent.
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Opinions Jan. 13, 2011

January 13, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of H.C. and T.C.; J.C. v. IDCS (NFP)
76A03-1006-JT-374
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.
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Opinions Jan. 12, 2011

January 12, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Amorita N. Thomas, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. H&R Block Eastern Enterprises Inc.
10-1482
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David Hamilton.
Affirms summary judgment in favor of H&R Block in Thomas’ suit under Indiana’s Wage Payment Statute for paying its end-of-season compensation more than 10 days after it was earned. Concludes that the end-of-season compensation is not a wage under the statute because it was depending on other factors than her efforts and it would be highly difficult for the company to calculate it within 10 days. Declines to send a certified question on the issue to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Opinions Jan. 11, 2011

January 11, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
John G. Cooper v. State of Indiana
32A05-1005-CR-309
Criminal. Affirms five-year enhancement imposed under the Firearm Enhancement Statute following the jury’s determination Cooper knowingly or intentionally used a firearm in the commission of reckless homicide, a Class C felony. Double jeopardy principles aren’t implicated in this case. Also affirms aggregate 13-year sentence.
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Opinions Jan. 10, 2011

January 10, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Francisco Onan Delao v. State of Indiana
20A05-1003-CR-182
Criminal. Affirms four convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. Delao waived any error in the admission of the audio recordings of certain cocaine transactions because he failed to present a sufficient record for appellate review. His sentence is appropriate in light of his character and offenses.
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Opinions Jan. 7, 2011

January 7, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony V. Collins-Caudill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A05-1003-CR-242
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.
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