Opinions

Opinions April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Martin Serrano v. State of Indiana and the City of Fort Wayne
02S03-1104-CV-241
Civil. Reverses trial court judgment in favor of the state allowing for the forfeiture of Serrano’s truck. The state concluded he used the truck to transport or facilitate the transportation of a controlled substance for purposes of committing a drug-related offense. There was insufficient evidence to establish by a preponderance that Serrano’s drug possession at the time he was arrested was furthered by the use of his truck or that his truck was used for the purpose of possessing cocaine.
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Opinions April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Wachovia Financial Services, Inc. v. Dune Harbor, LLC, et al.
64A03-1008-MF-415
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses summary judgment order that a vendor lien was created in favor of and in force for Lefty’s Co-Ho Landing when Wachovia recorded its mortgages, stating that a genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether the lien, if created, was in force. Remands for further proceedings.

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Opinions April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Marcus Curlin
10-3033
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s decision to deny motion to suppress, without an evidentiary hearing, stating Marcus Curlin failed to identify any disputed issues of fact that affect the outcome of the motion.
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Opinions April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Garjon Collins
10-2576
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms 108-month sentence following guilty plea to 11 counts of misusing a Social Security number and 11 counts of aggravated identity theft. The District Court properly considered the Section 3553(a) sentencing factors and imposed an appropriate, reasonable sentence in this case.
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Opinions April 21, 2011

April 21, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Tom George, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
94S00-1010-CQ-544
Certified question. The NCAA’s ticket-allocation process for championship sporting events – only refunding the face value and not a handling fee to unsuccessful applicants – is not an illegal lottery under Indiana law because no prize was awarded to those applicants who received the opportunity to purchase tickets. Where an event coordinator creates the primary market for event tickets, the fair-market value of the tickets is equal to their face value and there is no “prize.” 
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Opinions April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ricky E. Graham v. State of Indiana
22A01-1008-PC-392
Post conviction. Grants rehearing to clarify comments made regarding the creation and preservation of evidentiary records in post-conviction relief proceedings and affirms original opinion in all respects.
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Opinions April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael K. Wethington v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A01-1009-CR-481
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a motor vehicle while an habitual traffic violator.
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Opinions April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
James Stewart v. State of Indiana
49A04-1001-CR-48
Criminal. Vacates Class C felony robbery conviction and corresponding four-year sentence because Stewart’s convictions for both felony murder and the underlying felony of robbery violate the prohibitions of double jeopardy. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support Stewart’s convictions of seven counts of felony murder, six counts of criminal confinement as Class B felonies, Class B felony burglary, Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license, and adjudication as a habitual offender. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding certain hearsay statements or by admitting certain photographs, and Stewart isn’t entitled to the procedural protections of the Life Without Parole Statute. Judge Bradford concurs in part and concurs in result in part.
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Opinions April 15, 2011

April 15, 2011
Heather Schrock v. Marion Schrock
20A03-1009-DR-484
Domestic relation. Vacates trial court’s belated order because it was made void by the instant appeal. Marion is able to proceed by cross-appeal to obtain appellate review of the issues raised in his motion to correct error as set forth in a footnote in Cavinder Elevators and in HomeEq. Reverses in part the dissolution order.
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Opinions April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Diane Werner v. Gregory Werner

46A03-1008-DR-447
Domestic relation. Affirms order finding it would be in the children’s best interest for their father to be their primary physical custodian and awarding mother parenting time. Diane Werner waived her argument that the court used the wrong standard in determining whether to modify custody because she didn’t object at the custody hearing. The trial court’s findings are sufficient to support its judgment under the “best interests” standard. Judge Kirsch dissents.
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Opinions April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas M. Grimes v. Victoria Crockrom, et al.
45A03-1008-CT-491
Civil tort. Affirms order that Grimes, Crockrom’s former attorney, produce Crockrom’s medical records he obtained while he was representing her. The trial court erred when it did so without first providing for the security of the attorney fees owed. Grimes has a valid retaining lien over Crockrom’s medical records. Remands with instructions that the court determine how much in attorney fees Grimes is owed and then order Crockrom to provide security for the payment of those fees.
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Opinions April 12, 2011

April 12, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cassandra Johnson and Jarrett Buse v. Anya E. Wait, et al.
82A01-0910-CV-498
Civil. Affirms the jury instruction on contributory negligence, finding sufficient evidence to support giving it. The trial court didn’t err by refusing to give the tendered instruction on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur offered by Johnson and Buse because there is a dearth of evidence as to exactly how and when Johnson’s shoulder injuries occurred. Affirms trial court allowance of a defense orthopedic expert witness to testify as to his opinions on causation.
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Opinions April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Randall Woodruff, trustee, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, on behalf of Legacy Healthcare Inc. v. Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning
29A02-1002-PL-220
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the Family and Social Services Administration on New Horizon Development Center’s $4 million quantum meruit claim. Once a provider with a long-term care facility has been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, FSSA, as the state Medicaid agency, has the primary responsibility for relocating the Medicaid patients and for ensuring their safe and orderly transfer from the old facility.
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Opinions April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Samuel D. Raisor, et al. v. Edward O. Carter, et al.
49A05-1010-CT-629
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Jimmie’s Raceway Pub, in which the trial court  found the Raisors’ action was barred by the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury actions and the amended complaint couldn’t relate back to the original filing date because Jimmie’s received notice of the action after the expiration of the 120-day period allowed under Ind. Trial Rule 15(C).
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Opinions April 7, 2011

April 7, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jeffrey P. Taylor
10-2715
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Reverses conviction of and 10-year sentence for violating 18 U.S.C. Section 2422(b), which deals with knowingly persuading or enticing someone under 18 to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so. The section is ambiguous and sexual activity and sexual act could be synonyms and therefore require contact between the perpetrator and victim for a conviction. Remands with instructions to acquit Taylor. Judge Manion concurs in a separate opinion.
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Opinions April 6, 2011

April 6, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gariup Construction Co. v. Carras-Szany-Kuhn & Associates, et al.
45A04-1007-PL-429
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the architect Carras-Szany-Kuhn and the successful bidder and denied unsuccessful bidder Gariup Construction’s claim alleging the architect; Behling & Son, the successful bidder; and others colluded to restrict bidding in violation of the Indiana Antitrust Act. The designated evidence doesn’t present a genuine issue of material fact from which a factfinder could reasonably infer that the architect and successful bidder colluded to restrict bidding. Declines to find that the architect and successful bidder are entitled to appellate attorneys fees.
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Opinions April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Stephen Radentz, et al., v. Marion County, et al.
10-1523
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses ruling from District Court in favor of defendants in discrimination lawsuit. Plaintiffs were able to support claim that their termination from employment was race-based, and did not result in significant financial gain, as the defendants claimed.
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Opinions April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Billy L. Hicks
09-3608
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Vacates conviction of knowingly distributing more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. The District Court improperly allowed evidence of Hicks' prior drug convictions in violation of Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). Remands for a new trial.

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Opinions April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Hochstetler Living Trust v. Friends of Pumpkinville Nature Trail
20A03-1009-PL-490
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s partial summary judgment in favor of Friends of Pumpkinville Nature Trail, which quieted title to a disputed tract in favor of the nature trail. Because the Plank Deed from 1899 conveyed a fee simple interest to the railroad company, the Penn Central quitclaim deed conveyed that fee simple interest to the nature trail.
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Opinions March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Antonio D. Jones v. James Basinger
09-3577
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Remands with instructions to grant writ of habeas petition. Reverses District Court's affirmation that Jones was not entitled to a habeas petition, citing U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford v. Washington. States that informant’s double-hearsay against Jones was used as substantive evidence to prove Jones’ guilt, violating his Sixth Amendment rights.
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Opinions March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tywan D. Griffin v. State of Indiana
49A02-1007-CR-774
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, ruling the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Griffin committed the charge.
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Opinions March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana
49S02-1103-CR-176
Criminal. Rules that the Indiana Court of Appeals was correct in declining Edward Dawson’s belated appeal of the trial court’s decision to revoke Dawson’s probation and impose a six-year sentence. States that the COA correctly decided that belated appeals from orders revoking probation are not presently available pursuant to Post-Conviction Rule 2, as the sanction imposed when probation is revoked does not qualify as a “sentence” under the rule.
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Opinions March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Scott C. Cole and Jennifer A. Cole v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
10-2194
U.S. Tax Court, Judge Diane L. Kroupa.
Tax. Affirms finding that the Coles omitted more than $1.2 million of income and more than $1.3 million of self-employment income from their 2001 joint tax return and that they fraudulently avoided tax liability. The Coles did not show clear error in the Tax Court’s finding that because they did not produce credible documentary or other evidence showing otherwise, that the commissioner’s reconstruction of their income was “reasonable and substantially accurate.”
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Opinions March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
William Hurt v. State of Indiana
82A04-1006-CR-414
Criminal. Affirms Hurt’s conviction of Class C felony reckless disregard of a traffic control device in a highway workzone resulting in death, ruling that Hurt had seen the traffic controls repeatedly on his several trips through the workzone, prior to the fatal crash. Reverses Hurt’s conviction for Class C felony reckless operation of a vehicle in a highway workzone resulting in death, on double jeopardy grounds.
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Opinions March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Rollie Mitchell
10-1831
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms sentence of life imprisonment for distributing cocaine base, stating the District Court properly calculated the guidelines range and did not improperly consider Mitchell’s exercise of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
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  1. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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