Opinions

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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Opinions Sept. 24, 2010

September 24, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Subpoena to Crisis Connection, Inc., State of Indiana v. Ronald Keith Fromme
19A05-0910-CR-602
Criminal. Grants rehearing for clarification and affirms original decision outlining the threshold a defendant must make before obtaining an in camera review of records that are privileged.
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Opinions Sept. 23, 2010

September 23, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Commitment of A.L.
49A02-1001-MH-76
Mental health. Affirms order of temporary commitment. Any error in the admission of evidence or consideration of Wishard’s argument as to A.L.’s dangerousness was not a blatant violation of fundamental fairness and didn’t cause substantial and apparent harm to her.
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Opinions Sept. 22, 2010

September 22, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Rosalyn West v. Betty Wadlington,et al.
49S02-1009-CV-509
Civil. Reverses trial court’s grant of Larkin and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s motions to dismiss West’s defamation and invasion of privacy claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Holds that a trial court with general jurisdiction to adjudicate claims of defamation and invasion of privacy is not ousted of jurisdiction merely because a religious defense to the claims is asserted. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Sept. 21, 2010

September 21, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Max Koenig v. State of Indiana
42S04-1009-CR-505
Criminal. Affirms conviction of dealing in a schedule II controlled substance as a Class B felony. The admission of the laboratory report without letting Koenig confront the person who created it was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt under Chapman v. California.
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Opinions Sept. 20, 2010

September 20, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Obed Kalwitz, Jr., et al. v. Eugene Kalwitz, et al.
46A03-0912-CV-574
Civil. Affirms small claims judgment in favor of siblings Eugene Kalwitz and Sharon Greiger in Obed Kalwitz Jr.’s suit alleging the siblings stole items from land that now belong to the siblings. Affirms ruling on counterclaim for $1,750 compensatory damages for abuse of process, $2,750 in punitive damages, and $900 in attorney’s fees. Obed and Rolene’s request for a change of judge was untimely, and their claim is barred by res judicata. Remands to the small claims court for a determination of the amount of appellate attorney’s fees and costs to which Eugene and Sharon are entitled.
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Opinions Sept. 17, 2010

September 17, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of Kenneth E. Lauter
55S00-0906-DI-267
Discipline. A per curiam decision publicly reprimands attorney Kenneth E. Lauter of Morgan County because he didn’t indicate to the client what the additional retainer should be or how it would be determined, thus violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.5 (b) and (c).
Justices Brent Dickson and Robert Rucker dissented, believing that the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission did not prove a charged violation by clear and convincing evidence and that the hearing officer correctly found no violation and recommended a finding in favor of Lauter.
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Opinions Sept. 16, 2010

September 16, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court

Foundations of East Chicago, Inc., Successor by Merger to East Chicago Community Development Foundation, Inc. and Twin City Education Foundation, Inc. v. City of East Chicago
No. 49S02-0908-CV-00383
Civil. Justices granted a rehearing petition, holding that the city didn’t follow Indiana Appellate Rule 65(E) and was premature in filing a motion at the trial court level before a previous appellate ruling was certified. Justices found the trial court correctly denied the city’s request, and it kept intact its original opinion from May.

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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