Opinions

Opinions Feb. 15, 2011

February 15, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
K.D., et al. Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; S.S. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, et al.
49A02-1004-JC-462
Juvenile. Reverses and remands juvenile court’s adjudication that the appellant-respondent’s stepchildren were children in need of services. Concludes that where, as here, one party admits to CHINS allegations while another denies them, due process entitles the contesting party to a fact-finding hearing and adjudication. The mother admitted to the allegations in the petition, but the stepfather denied the allegations and requested a fact-finding hearing.
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Opinions Feb. 14, 2011

February 14, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Cynthia Kartman, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al.
09-1725
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses District Court ruling that a class claim for injunctive relief could proceed under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23(b)(2) and certification of a class to determine whether State Farm should be required to re-inspect policyholders’ roofs pursuant to a uniform and objective standard. There is no contract or tort-based duty requiring the insurer to use a particular standard for assessing hail damage. Also, the requested injunction is neither appropriate nor final.
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Opinions Feb. 11, 2011

February 11, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mouhamadou M. Sow v. Fortville Police Department, et al.
10-2188
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment to the Fortville Police Department, Officer Michael Fuller of the Fortville Police Department, and the McCordsville Police Department. Sow’s action was brought under 42 U.S.C. sections 1983, 1985, and 1986 after he was arrest for forgery but the charges were later dropped. Sow also alleged numerous state law claims, asserting that the District Court had supplemental jurisdiction over those claims.
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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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  1. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  2. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  3. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  4. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  5. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

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