Opinions

Opinions Oct. 29, 2010

October 29, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Taele and Sarah Taele v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.
06A01-1004-CT-259
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of State Farm. The Taeles aren’t entitled to recover uninsured motorist benefits under their State Farm policy because they themselves were neither directly impacted nor directly physically injured by the accident that killed their daughter. Judge Crone dissents.
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Opinions Oct. 28, 2010

October 28, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert D. Davis v. State of Indiana
32A01-1003-CR-144
Criminal. Affirms denial of Davis’ motion for leave to amend his motion to correct erroneous sentence. The information before the appellate court doesn’t allow it to decide whether he was erroneously sentenced. 
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Opinions Oct. 27, 2010

October 27, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
James L. Parkey v. Jason E. Sample
09-3966
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge William C. Lee
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of Indiana State Trooper Jason Sample’s motion for summary judgment, which found James Parkey, who sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, had not brought forth any evidence to demonstrate a lack of probable cause. Parkey claimed Sample had violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment by searching his home and seizing his property without probable cause. Suspecting Parkey had a marijuana grow operation, Sample did two trash pulls near Parkey’s residence where Sample found marijuana cigarettes and stems from marijuana plants, evidence he presented to a Lake County Superior magistrate, who issued a search warrant for Parkey’s home.
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Opinions Oct. 26, 2010

October 26, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Allstate Insurance Company v. Timothy Clancy, et al.
45A03-0910-CV-498
Civil. Reverses trial court’s order granting a motion to compel the production of documents. In its interlocutory appeal, Allstate Insurance Company raised the following issue: whether the trial court abused its discretion by compelling production of documents subject to the attorney-client privilege on the ground that Allstate has implicitly raised an advice of counsel defense, thereby waiving the attorney-client privilege.
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Opinions Oct. 25, 2010

October 25, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Alesa Pack v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
89A05-1004-PL-240
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of Medicaid benefits. The administrative law judge’s decision is defective for failing to consider the totality of the evidence provided and in its presentation of and engagement with the findings of basic fact when applying the law to reach a finding of ultimate fact that Pack’s health conditions didn’t substantially impair her ability to work. Remands to the ALJ for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 22, 2010

October 22, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Belle City Amusements, Inc. v. Doorway Promotions, Inc.
35A05-0912-CV-711
Civil. Reverses award of damages for lost profits for the years 2010 through 2013 in the amount of $17,500 for each year to Doorway after Belle City cancelled its agreement with the company to provide rides and concessions for a festival. The damages were not a foreseeable consequence of the breach of the agreement between Belle City and Doorway and Indiana doesn’t allow for recovery for perceived loss of reputation or goodwill in an action for breach of contract. Affirms $24,000 award to Doorway for the 2009 rent of the Coliseum to house the festival. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 21, 2010

October 21, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brenda Moore v. State of Indiana
49A04-1001-CR-46
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Under the circumstances, Moore was not in a public place and therefore the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction of public intoxication. Judge Vaidik dissents.
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Opinions Oct. 20, 2010

October 20, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
J.B. v. E.B.
34A04-1002-DR-110
Domestic relation. Reverses trial court decision to exclude son’s counseling records at a custody modification hearing. The instant case is a proceeding within the purview of Indiana Code Section 31-32-11-1 and the counselor/client privilege does not apply. Remands for further proceedings. 
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Opinions Oct. 19, 2010

October 19, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Carla Johnson and Michael Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0911-CR-651
Criminal. Affirms Carla’s convictions of Class B felonies neglect of a dependent and battery, and affirms Michael’s conviction of Class B felony neglect.
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Opinions Oct. 18, 2010

October 18, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Tom George, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
09-3667
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Vacates opinion reversing District Court’s dismissal of claims with prejudice, stays the appeal, and certifies three questions to the Indiana Supreme Court: Do the plaintiffs’ allegations about the NCAA’s method for allocating scarce tickets to championship tournaments describe a lottery that would be unlawful under Indiana law? If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, would the NCAA’s method for allocating tickets fall within the Ind. Code Section 35-45-5-1(d) exception for “bona fide business transactions that are valid under the law of contracts”? If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, do plaintiffs’ allegations show that their claims are subject to an in pari delecto defense as described in Lesher v. Baltimore Football Club and Swain v. Bussell?
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Opinions Oct. 15, 2010

October 15, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Southlake Community Mental Health Center, Inc., et al. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Crown Point, Indiana, et al.
45A03-1002-MI-81
Miscellaneous. Reverses determination that the Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Crown Point correctly concluded that Southlake and Watertower South’s proposed use of a certain parcel was inappropriate for the parcel’s zoning classification. The original appeal of the Crown Point Plan Commission’s decision by Feather Rock Professional Office Park was untimely. Remands with instructions to grant Southlake and Watertower’s certiorari petition.
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Opinions Oct. 14, 2010

October 14, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Town of Culver Board of Zoning Appeals v. Roderick J. Ratcliff and Pamela A. Ratcliff
50A03-1004-MI-179
Miscellaneous. Affirms judgment in favor of the Ratcliffs on their petition for writ of certiorari from an adverse decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals. The storage sheds on a landscaped gravel lot supplied with electricity aren’t considered “structures” within the definition of Culver’s zoning ordinances.
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Opinions Oct. 13, 2010

October 13, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Cruz Saenz
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine but vacates his 293-month sentence. Rejects Saenz’s speedy trial challenge because nearly all of the delay is attributable to requests by Saenz or his co-defendants and the court didn’t error in imposing an obstruction of justice enhancement by concluding Saenz willfully lied about whether he knew the money he was transporting was drug money. Remands for the District Court to reconsider whether Saenz should receive the minor role adjustment as there is no evidence in the record of his involvement in a conspiracy beyond the single transport of money.

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Opinions Oct. 12, 2010

October 12, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America and State of New York, et al. v. Cinergy Corp., et al.
No. 1:99-CV-1693
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Reverses District Court ruling in the government’s favor regarding modifications involving sulphur dioxide emissions because Cinergy met the standard that was authorized by a state plan the Environmental Protection Agency approved. Finds the District Court should not have admitted evidence by the EPA’s expert witnesses. Rules that without expert testimony to support an estimate of actual emissions caused by the modifications, the government cannot prevail with respect to the charge of nitrogen oxide pollution. Dismisses cross-appeal.
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Opinions Oct. 11, 2010

October 11, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court were closed today in observance of Columbus Day.
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Opinions Oct. 8, 2010

October 8, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Richmond State Hospital, et al. v. Paula Brattain, et al.
49A02-0908-CV-718
Civil. Reverses finding that the merit employees, represented by Veregge and Strong, are entitled to 20 years of back pay and remands with instructions to recalculate the merit employees’ back pay based on the time period beginning 10 days before the July 29, 1993, complaint was filed and ending when the state abolished the split class system. Instructs the trial court to determine whether the state abolished the split class system on Sept. 12 or Sept. 19, 1993. Affirms in all other respects.
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Opinions Oct. 7, 2010

October 7, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dorris Merriweather III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-0912-CR-691
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting.
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Opinions Oct. 6, 2010

October 6, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles J. Kennedy v. State of Indiana
89A04-0907-CR-380
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and 27-year sentence for Class A felony robbery and Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery. Rules the trial court properly admitted DNA evidence and properly allowed testimony of a witness not discovered until mid-trial. Also rules sentence is appropriate.
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Opinions Oct. 5. 2010

October 5, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Wayne D. Kubsch v. State of Indiana
71S00-0708-PD-335
Post-conviction. Affirms judgment of the post-conviction court. Kubsch appeals, raising several issues for review, nine of which are waived because they were known and available at the time of Kubsch’s direct appeal and another three issues are barred because of the doctrine of res judicata. Regarding claims the prosecutor failed to disclose exculpatory evidence, rules information was not material and he failed to establish the nine requirements for obtaining a new trial due to newly discovered evidence so his Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), claim fails. Also rules Kubsch failed to demonstrate that counsel rendered ineffective assistance.
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Opinions Oct. 4, 2010

October 4, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Donald L. Pruitt v. State of Indiana
55A01-0912-CR-597
Criminal. Affirms denial of Pruitt’s motion to suppress, who was charged with operating a motor vehicle after driving privileges had been forfeited for life as a Class C felony. The lack of limiting language in Indiana Code Section 9-30-10-17 supports that Indiana Code sections 9-21-18-1 to 9-21-18-15 do not bar law enforcement officers from investigating violations in private parking lots in the absence of a contractual agreement with the property owner. Concludes the police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop Pruitt for driving without headlights.

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Opinions Oct. 1, 2010

October 1, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Annex Books, Inc., et al. v. City of Indianapolis, Ind.
09-4156
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms preliminary injunction of ordinance requiring adult bookstores to be closed certain hours. The single article introduced by Indianapolis didn’t support its argument and the evidence of arrest data near the plaintiffs’ store appears to support the plaintiffs.
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Opinions Sept. 30, 2010

September 30, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. James G. Lucas
91A05-1003-CR-247
Criminal. Reverses and remands Lucas’s motion to suppress results from a Datamaster chemical breath test in jail, following two failed portable breath tests in the field. Rules a portable breath test mouthpiece is not a foreign substance that will act to invalidate the results of a Datamaster.
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Opinions Sept. 29, 2010

September 29, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Efren R. Diaz v. State of Indiana
20S05-0911-PC-521
Post conviction. Refusing to admit the chart on grounds of hearsay was an error. It was prepared by an expert witness of Diaz on the misinterpretations between what the court said in English and what the translator told Diaz in Spanish, and the witness’ expertise was hindered by its exclusion. The evidence before the post-conviction court doesn’t reveal whether Diaz was provided with accurate interpreting. Directs the trial court to commission its own translation of the plea hearing and the sentencing hearing to rehear such evidence to answer whether Diaz’s plea was voluntary and intelligent.
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Opinions Sept. 28, 2010

September 28, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Sarah Haag, et al. v. Mark Castro, The Indiana Youth Soccer Association, et al.
29A04-1001-CT-10
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Virginia Surety Co. Members of the Carmel Commotion Soccer Team traveled to Colorado for a soccer tournament. While in Colorado, the team decided to go on a white-water rafting trip as a team-building activity. While traveling to raft, the van collided with another vehicle and team members were injured. Virginia Surety argued that while the team was sanctioned to attend and compete at the tournament, the use of the van to go white-water rafting was not a use “in the business of the Named Insured” and Indiana Youth Soccer Association did not have knowledge of or authorize the rafting activity. Judge Riley dissents.
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Opinions Sept. 27, 2010

September 27, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian P. White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-0910-CR-515
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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