Opinions

Opinions Dec. 29, 2014

December 29, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles P. White v. State of Indiana

29A05-1312-PC-641
Post conviction. Affirms White’s convictions for perjury, voting in the wrong precinct and theft. Finds White was convicted twice for the same actions in violation of double jeopardy. Reverses White’s other convictions for perjury and voting in the wrong precinct as well as another perjury conviction for putting the wrong address on his marriage license application. Remands with instructions that the trial court vacate those three convictions. Concludes White’s attorney, Carl Brizzi, was not ineffective. Holds White’s sentence to one-year of home detention remains.
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Opinions Dec. 24, 2014

December 24, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lloyd G. Perry v. Anonymous Physican 1, Alias Medical Group 1, Inc., Anonymous Physican 2, et al.
02A03-1401-CT-43
Civil Tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of healthcare providers. Finds Perry did not submit expert testimony as required by court rules to support his medical malpractice claim.  
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Opinions Dec. 23, 2014

December 23, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re the Adoption of B.C.H.
41S04-1408-AD-515
Adoption. Vacates the trial court’s decision to grant stepfather’s petition to adopt B.C.H. and remands for a hearing on the child’s best interests in the adoption and other proceedings consistent with this opinion. At this hearing, the grandparents, who had primary custody of B.C.H. for the first four years of her life, shall be given the opportunity to give or withhold consent to the child’s adoption. They were not served with legal notice of the adoption.
 
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Opinions Dec. 22, 2014

December 22, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Milford J. Clark
12-1417
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction for bank robbery. Clark was not deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to proceed pro se. Any errors in admission of evidence were harmless since Clark met the physical description of the robber and his DNA was found at the bank.
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Opinions Dec. 19, 2014

December 19, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher Duncan v. State of Indiana
09A05-1312-CR-613
Criminal. Reverses conviction of identity deception because the state did not prove that the name and birth date Duncan falsely gave to police belonged to a real person. Remands with instructions to vacate that conviction and sentence as well as the conviction and sentence for Class D felony pointing a firearm because of double jeopardy principles. Also remands for the court to reduce his resisting law enforcement conviction to a Class A misdemeanor due to double jeopardy principles.
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Opinions Dec. 18, 2014

December 18, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Rodregus Morgan v. State of Indiana
49S02-1405-CR-325
Criminal. Vacates conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication as the requirements for conviction under Indiana’s public intoxication statute have not been met. An objective reasonable person standard should be read into Indiana’s public intoxication statute when applying the term “annoys.” Under that reading, the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.
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Opinions Dec. 17, 2014

December 17, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Shawn Blount v. State of Indiana
49S02-1405-CR-338
Criminal. Affirms conviction of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm. A detective’s testimony that a witness identified Blount as the suspect was inadmissible hearsay, but it was a harmless error. There was no variance between the charging information and the evidence presented at trial.
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Opinions Dec. 16, 2014

December 16, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Mark Rolley v. Melissa Rolley
87S01-1412-DR-739
Domestic relation. Affirms modification of child support order. Rules in a per curiam decision that ruling by Indiana Court of Appeals that an order of child support could be modified either because a substantial and continuing change in circumstances or, after 12 months, a 20 percent deviation.
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Opinions Dec. 15, 2014

December 15, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Goodrich Quality Theaters, Inc. and Roncelli, Inc. v. Fostcorp Heating and Cooling, Inc., Wilson Iron Works, Inc., et. al.
64A03-1308-PL-318
Civil plenary. Reaffirms previous ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court erred in awarding attorney fees to Fostcorp Heating and Cooling, Wilson Iron Works and Johnson Carpet. Since the general contractor, Roncelli Inc., was not the property owner, it is not liable for payment of attorney fees. Judge Patricia Riley voted to deny rehearing.
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Opinions Dec. 12, 2014

December 12, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Central Mutual Insurance Company v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Company
49A04-1405-CT-214
Civil tort. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court order denying Central’s motion for partial summary judgment and granting Motorists’ motion for partial summary judgment. The trial court did not err in finding that Central provided primary coverage to a truck driver injured in a crash and that the Motorists policy provided excess coverage only when the limits of the Central policy had been reached.
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Opinions Dec. 11, 2014

December 11, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin L. Harold v. Christopher C. Steel and Peters & Steel LLC
14-1875
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Harold’s lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, contending Steel and his law firm had violated 15 U.S.C. Section 1692e by making false statements. Harold sought to challenge a garnishment order entered in state court. The Rooker-Feldmen doctrine bars his lawsuit.
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Opinions Dec. 10, 2014

December 10, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeal
Robert D. DeLee v. City of Plymouth, Indiana
14-1970
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the city on police officer DeLee’s lawsuit that he is entitled to his full longevity payment from the city for the year he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for eight months. Plymouth’s longevity benefit is more appropriately characterized as a reward for lengthy service rather than as compensation for work performed the preceding year, so the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act guarantees DeLee a fully longevity payment for his 12th year of employment. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 9, 2014

December 9, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kolyann Williams v. State of Indiana
34A02-1406-CR-418
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor marijuana possession stemming from a traffic stop. Concludes the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to believe that Williams had committed an infraction that supported stopping his car.
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Opinions Dec. 8, 2014

December 8, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Randal L. Young v. Indiana Department of Correction, Bruce Lemmon, David J. Donahue, Stanley Knight, et al.
32A05-1403-MI-148
Miscellaneous. Affirms the DOC’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates, which says the credit time sought must be credit time that was deprived during the offender’s current sentence. The policy does not result in disparate treatment and does not unconstitutionally discriminate against offenders who are ordered to serve consecutive sentences.
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Opinions Dec. 5, 2014

December 5, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of the Adoption of Minor Children: J.T.D. and J.S.: Ind. Dept. of Child Services v. N.E.
45S03-1406-AD-387
Adoption. Reverses trial court decision to not transfer cases from the civil division, which includes probate, to the juvenile division, which is where adoptions must be filed based on a local rule. Lake Superior Court’s four statutory divisions are not jurisdictional, and are merely descriptive of venue, so there is no conflict between the statute and the caseload allocation plan. Remands with instructions.
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Opinions Dec. 4, 2014

December 4, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re: The Carroll County 2013 Tax Sale: Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District v. Richard C. Ray and Patricia A. Alford, et al.
08S04-1402-MI-97
Miscellaneous. The lien foreclosure prohibition of Indiana Code 13-26-14-4, governing the collection of regional sewer district sewer liens, does not apply to collection by tax sale. Here, because the sewer district employed the tax sale method and did not seek collection of the appellees' unpaid sewer bills and penalties through the lien foreclosure method, the lien foreclosure prohibition clause does not apply. The judgment of the trial court removing the Ray and Alford properties from the tax sale list is reversed, and this cause is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
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Opinions Dec. 3, 2014

December 3, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
S.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1406-JV-377
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult.

 
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Opinions Dec. 2, 2014

December 2, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Emily Herx v. Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, Inc. and St. Vincent de Paul School
14-3057
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division.
Judge Robert Miller Jr.
Civil. Grants Emily Herx’s motion to dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction. Rejects the argument from the diocese for a collateral-order review, finding the church’s interest will not be irreparably harmed by waiting for the District Court to issue a final judgment.
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Opinions Dec. 1, 2014

December 1, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. William Boswell
13-3641
Appeals from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 235-month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The admission of evidence that Boswell had a gun tattoo on his neck was not an abuse of discretion because it served to impeach his testimony, and the sentence under the ACCA did not have to be alleged in the indictment.
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Opinions Nov. 26, 2014

November 26, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Crystal Valley Sales Inc., Charles Kline, and Nancy Kline v. Jonathan Anderson, National Sales Company Inc., Rodger Anderson, Camco Manufacturing, and Norm Geible
20A04-1402-PL-83
Civil Plenary. Affirmed trial court’s dismissal of civil conspiracy claims against National Sales Company Inc., Rodger Anderson, Camco Manufacturing Inc. and Norm Geible for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Finds Crystal Valley did not provide sufficient facts to show that the co-defendants engaged in unlawful actions. Rejects Crystal Valley’s argument that its civil conspiracy count is sufficient by itself to claim the co-defendants helped Jonathan breach his contractual or fiduciary duties.
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Opinions Nov. 25, 2014

November 25, 2014
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Opinions Nov. 24, 2014

November 24, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Antonio Smith v. State of Indiana
71A04-1312-CR-609
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class C felony burglary, finding the state knowingly proffered perjured testimony from a witness who had previously pleaded guilty to the break-in of a Dollar General store that Smith also was charged with. The state had a duty to correct perjured testimony and should have joined in the defense’s request for a mistrial. The court referred the case to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission with a caution: “We also note that instances of prosecutorial misbehavior continue to come before us on appeal notwithstanding our admonishments.”
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Opinions Nov. 21, 2014

November 21, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Deriq Watters v. State of Indiana
34A02-1403-CR-215
Criminal.  Reverses revocation of probation. The evidence used to revoke Watters’ probation was inadmissible.
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Opinions Nov. 20, 2014

November 20, 2014
Indiana Tax Court
The City of Greenfield and the Greenfield Fire Protection Territory v. The Ind. Dep't of Local Government Finance
49T10-1111-TA-67
Tax.  Reverses reduction by the Department of Local Government Finance of the Greenfield Fire Protection Territory’s general fund levy for the 2012 budget year. Public Law 172-2011, Section 164 contravenes the special legislation provisions set forth in Article 4, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions Nov. 19, 2014

November 19, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Sharon Handy v. P.C, Building Materials, Inc., PC Properties, LLC, David A. Stemler, and Karen L. Stemler
22A01-1403-CT-125
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of P.C. Building Materials and other defendants on Handy’s negligence claim. There are genuine issues of material fact that remain for a determination by a jury. Remands for further proceedings.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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