Opinions

Opinions July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Crisis Connection, Inc. v. Ronald Keith Fromme
19A05-0910-CR-602
Criminal. Affirms order Crisis Connections produce records to the court for an in camera review. An in camera review properly balances Fromme’s constitutional rights and the victims’ interest in privacy.
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Opinions July 14, 2010

July 14, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Chubb Insurance Group, and Total Interior Systems America, LLC v. Elizabeth Howell

93A02-0912-EX-1287
Civil. Reverses penalties assessed against Eastern Alliance by the Full Worker’s Compensation Board due to a lack of diligence. The board’s factual findings demonstrate that Eastern Alliance reasonably investigated the claim and communicated with the parties, and afterwards it reasonably determined that it was not liable for the claim. Vacates penalties assessed against the company and remands that the board determine and enter an order regarding whether Chubb Insurance should be held responsible for the entirety of the penalty and attorneys’ fees awarded for its lack of diligence.
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Opinions July 13, 2010

July 13, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Akens v. State of Indiana
49A05-0912-CR-687
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following guilty plea to child molesting. The trial court’s statement that Akens could appeal his sentence wasn’t made until after the court had accepted the plea agreement and entered Akens’ sentence. The agreement included his express waiver of his right to appeal his sentence.
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Opinions July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
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Opinions July 9, 2010

July 9, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Freddie L. Byers Jr. v. James Basinger, Superintendent of the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
09-1833
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Allen Sharp
Civil. Affirms District Court's denial of Byers' habeas petition. After a jury found Byers guilty of murder, attempted murder and robbery, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. The Indiana Court of Appeals denied his petition for post-conviction relief, and the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer. The District Court later denied Byers’ habeas petition, in which Byers argued that his trial counsel performed deficiently. The 7th Circuit granted Byers a certificate of appealability on the question whether he had been denied effective assistance of counsel. The 7th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial because, even if Byers successfully exhausted his claim, it lacks merit.
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Opinions July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals

Marcus Lewis v. State of Indiana
49A02-0909-CR-920
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Lewis received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because counsel failed to timely file a written request for a jury trial. Remands for a new trial.

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Opinions July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of: A.C. v. State of Indiana

49A04-0912-JV-682
Juvenile. Reverses adjudication for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement if committed by an adult. A.C.’s simple failure to stand, without more, amounts to passive inaction and seems analogous to the failure to present one’s arms for handcuffing, which the Indiana Supreme Court has said does not constitute forcible resistance.
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Opinions July 6, 2010

July 6, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Derrick Bush v. State of Indiana
49A02-0907-CR-682
Criminal. After considering state’s claims of waiver as presented in its petition for rehearing, reaffirms original opinion reversing Bush’s conviction of carrying a handgun without a license. Court of Appeals originally reversed conviction after it held a canine sniff and resulting warrantless search of Bush’s automobile violated the Fourth Amendment because the state did not meet its burden of showing the traffic stop was not unreasonably prolonged or there was independent reasonable suspicion to justify the canine sniff.

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Opinions July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Clifton Mauricio v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1002-PC-130
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.
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Opinions July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Luiz Alves v. Old National Bank f/k/a St. Joseph Capital Bank
71A03-0909-CV-416
Civil. Affirms denial of Alves’ Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion. Because he filed his motion more than one year after the trial court granted summary judgment for Old National Bank and his earlier appeal of that judgment doesn’t toll the 1-year limit applicable to motions brought pursuant to subsections (1)-(4), his motion is untimely. In addition, the evidence on appeal doesn’t show the bank owed a duty to Alves or that the bank breached a duty by conspiring with his former business partner to remove him from their company.
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Opinions June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
League of Women Voters, et al. v. Todd Rokita

49S02-1001-CV-50
Civil. Affirms trial court dismissal of challenge to state’s voter identification law. The case presents only facial constitutional challenges. It is within the power of the legislature to require voters to present photo ID at the polls. Justice Boehm dissents.
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Opinions June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Andre Peoples v. State of Indiana
79S02-0912-CR-549
Criminal. Affirms finding Peoples is a habitual offender. People’s instant dealing offense is to be counted in calculating the total number of unrelated felony convictions an individual has for drug dealing. While a single felony drug conviction is not enough to qualify a person for habitual offender status, a second such conviction is, be it a prior conviction or the instant offense.
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Opinions June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Richard Patrick Wilson and Billy Don Wilson v. Gene Isaacs, Sheriff of Cass County, and Brad Craven
09S05-1003-CV-149
Civil. Reverses grant of summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ liability claims against the sheriff for the conduct of Deputy Brad Craven. Affirms summary judgment for claims against Craven personally. Holds that a law enforcement officer's use of force in excess of the reasonable force authorized by statute is not shielded from liability under the "enforcement of a law" immunity provided in Indiana Code § 34-13-3-3(8) and that genuine issues of fact exist, precluding summary judgment. Chief Justice Shepard dissents without opinion.
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Opinions June 25, 2010

June 25, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. v. Peter S. Bezich, individually and on behalf of a class of others similarly situated
10-8013
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen
Civil. Remands to state court. Concludes Bezich’s claim “relates to the rights, duties, ... and obligations relating to or created by or pursuant to ... [a] security,” as defined in the 1933 Act, therefore the District Court has no jurisdiction.

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Opinions June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas Covey v. State of Indiana
30A01-0906-CR-311
Criminal. Affirms convictions of dealing in methamphetamine as a Class A felony, possession of methamphetamine as a Class B felony, possession of methamphetamine as a Class B felony, possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of paraphernalia a Class A misdemeanor. The state presented sufficient evidence to prove that Crosby lived in an “apartment complex” and thus Covey delivered the methamphetamine and possessed the methamphetamine in or within 1,000 feet of a “family housing complex.” Because Covey never placed the mitigating factors of Indiana Code Section 35-48-4-16(b) at issue, the trial court did not commit fundamental error by not instructing the jury on those mitigating factors.
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Opinions June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Medical Assurance Co., Inc. v. Amy Hellman, et al.
08-2887
U. S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Allen Sharp.
Civil. Medical Assurance appealed the District Court’s stay on the company’s declaratory judgment action. The company asked the court to declare that Dr. Mark Weinberger breached his contract obligations when he disappeared while on vacation and hasn’t been participating in his defense in more than 350 medical malpractice claims.
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Opinions June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Philip Cleer v. State of Indiana
49A02-0912-CR-1193
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content between 0.08 and 0.15. Cleer didn’t establish that the operation of a sobriety checkpoint violates the separation of powers provision of the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions June 18, 2010

June 18, 2010

Indiana Supreme Court
Christine Dugan v. Mittal Steel, USA, Inc., et al.
45S05-1002-CV-121
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Mittal Steel USA and Jay Komorowski. Of the two alleged occasions of defamation per se at issue, the one asserted in paragraph 7 of Dugan’s complaint does not constitute defamation per se. Although the statement alleged in paragraph 6 of the complaint qualifies as defamation per se, there is no genuine issue of fact undermining the defendants' claim of qualified privilege.

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Opinions June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Russel Howard v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co.
87A01-0910-CV-512
Civil. Reverses grant of American Family’s motion to substitute the underinsured driver as the sole defendant at trial in Howard’s suit following an accident. Indiana law does not allow the underinsured driver’s substitution as a nominal defendant in these circumstances.
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Opinions June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
M.T. v. State of Indiana
49A04-0908-JV-484
Juvenile. Reverses modification of probation and commitment to the Department of Correction. The state presented no evidence of the probation violations it alleged and the state violated M.T.’s due process rights.
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Opinions June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey D. Boggs v. State of Indiana
40A01-0907-CR-346
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and 40-year sentence for Class B felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine, two counts of Class C felony possession of a precursor while in possession of a firearm, Class D felony possession of methamphetamine, Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and finding that Boggs is a habitual offender. The police officer had a legitimate reason for being on Boggs’ property and didn’t move anything to observe the gas tank inside of Boggs’ car. The state presented sufficient evidence to prove the identity of the substances found and to support the habitual offender finding. Remands for the trial court to correct the sentencing order.
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Opinions June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ronald D. Dean v. Kristine M. Weaver
20A03-1001-MI-9
Civil. Affirms order denying Dean's motion seeking collection of his expert-witness fees from Weaver. The Indiana trial court which had acquired restrictive jurisdiction pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 28(E) to conduct ancillary discovery proceedings lacks the jurisdiction to reopen the cause and hear Dean’s motion on the payment of his fees.
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Opinions - June 11, 2010

June 11, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals

Larz A. Elliott v. Rush Memorial Hospital, et al.
70A01-0911-CV-553
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Larz Elliott’s proposed medical malpractice complaint against Rush Memorial Hospital, Carrie Tressler, and Dr. Philip Kingma. Elliott had alleged battery and negligence with respect to the forced catheterization to retrieve a urine sample after a Rush County sheriff’s deputy transported him to Rush Memorial Hospital and represented a court order at the hospital to retrieve a blood sample and a urine sample. Finds trial court erred in concluding that the defendants enjoy complete statutory immunity from any civil liability related to his claims of battery and negligence, but also finds Elliot’s claims fall outside the parameters of the Medical Malpractice Act because he was not a “patient” of the defendants, and that his catheterization clearly was not for his own medical benefit.

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Opinions - June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Walker Whatley v. State of Indiana
49S02-0908-CR-379
Criminal. Affirms Whatley’s conviction of and sentence for Class A felony dealing in cocaine because he was arrested within 1,000 feet of a church that provided services to youth on a regular basis. A jury could properly find that the nearby church was a “youth program center” because it provided a building or structure that on a regular basis offered recreational, social, or other programs or services for persons less than 18 years of age. Justices Boehm and Rucker dissent.
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Opinions - June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Lisa M. Beckingham v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Cenveo Corporation
93S02-0907-EX-308
Civil. Reverses and remands judgment of the Review Board, which denied Beckingham’s unemployment benefits for violating her employer’s no-fault attendance rule due to cases of personal illness, illness of her children, and various difficulties involving daycare.
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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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