Opinions

Opinions June 8, 2016

June 8, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Anastazia Schmid v. Steven McCauley, superintendent, Indiana Women’s Prison
14-2974
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, William T. Lawrence, judge.
Civil. Rules mentally ill woman appealing her murder conviction and sentence should have had an attorney appointed to her in District Court. Remands for court to appoint her one, as well as hold a possible evidentiary hearing.  
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Opinions June 7, 2016

June 7, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Otter Creek Trading Company Inc. and Daniel Pohle v. PCM Enviro PTY, LTD.
40A01-1509-MI-1432
Miscellaneous. Affirms $147,000 default judgment for PCM after COA found the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it ruled Otter Creek’s reply to the complaint was too short after PCM sued for breach of contract because Otter Creek did not send a smelter PCM paid for. Also finds it didn’t matter that PCM did not have a certificate of authority and was not a full business, Otter Creek still needed to fulfill its contractual obligations.
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Opinions June 3, 2016

June 3, 2016
Indiana Tax Court
John and Sylvia Von Ermannsdorff v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1112-TA-93
Tax. Denies the Department of State Revenue’s motion for summary judgment with respect to whether the von Erdmannsdorffs rebutted the presumption of correctness afforded to the department’s best information available assessments. Grants the von Erdmannsdorffs’ counter-motion for partial summary judgment with respect to whether the department erred in calculating their adjusted gross income by combining the gross receipts but failing to account for the additional business expense deductions.
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Opinions June 2, 2016

June 2, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tahj R. Thomas v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A04-1511-CR-2069
Criminal. Affirms Tahj R. Thomas’ aggregate eight-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to rape and criminal deviate conduct as Class A felonies.
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Opinions June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
David  P. Allen v. Kimberly W. Allen
13S01-1601-DR-00053
Domestic relations. Rules that divorced parents without an agreement to pay college expenses do not have to pay their children’s graduate or professional school expenses. Postsecondary in Indiana Code 31-16-6-2 means a technical or undergraduate school.
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Opinions May 31, 2016

May 31, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tracy K. Barber v. Amy Henry
87A01-1510-JP-1639
Juvenile. Affirms calculation of weekly child support owed by father after imputing just minimum wage to mother. The record shows mother, who is a doctor, is unemployed with just cause based on the special needs of her sons.  Reverses the order with respect to the civil attorney fees father is ordered to pay in his son’s juvenile case and remands with instructions to determine which part of the total amount claimed can be attributed to the protective order petition.
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Opinions May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
J.B. v. State of Indiana
49A02-1509-JV-1372
Juvenile. Rules a trial court cannot order a juvenile to pay restitution as a civil judgment after the court ordered $1,250 in fees for breaking probation in four causes. The order was rescinded so the matter was moot, but the court ruled on the case for public interest.
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Opinions May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Doe #1, et al. v. Indiana Department of Child Services
49A02-1506-CT-682
Civil tort. Reverses and remands summary judgment in favor of Indiana Department of Child Services after court found in a 2-1 decision DCS had the duty under common law to protect the identity of a caller who reported children as being in need of services. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents, noting she doesn’t think the code which DCS broke by identifying him supplies a private right of action.  
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Opinions May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kelly C. Mullen v. State of Indiana
02A05-1511-CR-1959
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the denial of Kelly C. Mullen’s motion to suppress evidence of a gun obtained during a search of his person. Rules that the officer who stopped him had sufficient reason, including the increased drug and gun violence in the area, the fact the apartment complex asked the police department to help with loitering issues, and Mullen’s actions during the stop.
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Opinions May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tresa Megenity v. David Dunn
22A04-1506-CT-722
Civil tort. Reverses and remands summary judgment for David Dunn after the majority ruled Dunn’s kick while Tresa Megenity was holding a bag during a karate drill constituted an issue of material fact. The COA ruled the type of kick Dunn did may not have been normal activity for the drill the two were involved in at the time. Judge Patricia Riley dissented, saying the majority ruled too narrowly. She thought the kick was normal behavior in the sport of karate itself and would have ruled to uphold summary judgment.
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Opinions May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas Costella and Profit Search Inc. v. Gersh Zavodnik
49A04-1504-PL-163.
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands summary judgment for Gersh Zavodnik for $30,044.07 after Court of Appeals ruled Zavodnik abused Trial Court Rule 36(B) which governs the withdrawal of admissions, using it for his own gain. Remands for trial court to determine whether case should be dismissed because of Trial Rule 41(E) which provides for dismissal when a plaintiff does not diligently prosecute a case or comply with court rules.
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Opinions — May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016
Indiana Tax Court Miller Pipeline Corporation v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1012-TA-00064. Tax. Remands six out of 11 issues Miller pipeline claimed after Miller appealed the Department of Revenue’s denial of Miller’s claim for refund of sales and use taxes remitted for the 2006 and 2007 tax years.
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Opinions — May 18, 2016

May 19, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the matter of: Elton D. Johnson
71S00-1408-DI-544
Discipline. Disbars Johnson after he committed attorney misconduct by providing incompetent representation, converting client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. Johnson violated 13 different Indiana Professional Conduct Rules as well as three Indiana Admission and Discipline Rules.
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Opinions — May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Joshua Schaaf v. State of Indiana
85A04-1506-CR-796.
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Schaff’s convictions but reduces his sentence for two counts of dealing heroin. Finds sufficient evidence for his convictions even though he didn’t participate in one of the transactions and didn’t know he was near a park in the second. Reduces Schaff’s sentence from 15 years for the first count and 40 for the second count to 10 for the first count and 30 for the second, finding the sentence was too harsh. Judge Paul Mathias dissents in opposition to the sentence reduction in one-paragraph opinion.
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Opinions — May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Samaron Corp. D/B/A Troyer Products v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company
15-3446
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Affirms United of Omaha does not have to pay Troyer Products after it mistakenly paid the wrong party a death benefit. Rules Troyer knew the money was going to the wrong party and let it happen anyway.
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Opinions May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals

BSA Construction LLC v Jimmie E. Johnson
49A02-1506-CT-749
Civil Tort. Affirms summary judgment for Jimmie Johnson after the Court of Appeals found Johnson did not owe BSA a duty of care after he appraised a property for less than the agreed-upon purchase price. Johnson cannot serve both the bank that hired him and BSA because of conflicting interests.

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Opinions May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Simons v. State of Indiana
20A03-1512-CR-2158
Criminal. Affirms David Simons’ 29-year aggregate sentence after court ruled even though trial court did notify Simons of his earliest and maximum possible release dates the error was harmless.
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Opinions May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brandon T. Black v. State of Indiana
02A03-1511-PC-1875
Post conviction. Denies Brandon Black’s petition for post-conviction relief as the COA found the failure of Black’s attorney to tell him about sentence maximums did not affect his decision to plead guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent.
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Opinions May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Korie M. Leslie v. Jeremy D. Farmer
87A01-1508-JP-1164
Juvenile. Affirms father can have child’s last name changed to his paternal name. He was up-to-date on child support, has spent time with the child and been active in the child’s life. The name will serve as a reminder that the child has two parents who care.
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Opinions May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Pugh v. State of Indiana
49A02-1506-CR-483
Criminal. Affirms Michael Pugh’s convictions of two counts of rape, one count of attempted criminal deviate conduct, one count of robbery and one count of burglary as Class A felonies; one count of robbery and three counts of carjacking as Class B felonies; and one count of robbery as a Class C felony. Finds Pugh’s three convictions of robbery do not violate the single larceny rule and his two convictions of rape do not violate the continuing crime doctrine.
 

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Opinions May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Polycon Industries Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board
15-3675, 15-3859
NLRB. Enforces National Labor Relations Board order that Polycon Industries must sign a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Union Local 142. Polycon negotiated the agreement with the Teamsters, but then refused to sign it.

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Opinions May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Barbara Hill, individually and as guardian of Charles Hill, incapacitated, and as next friend of Alexandra Hill, a minor, et al. v. Erich E. Gephart, City of Indianapolis, et al.
49A02-1509-CT-1288
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of city of Indianapolis defendants on the Hills’ claim of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising from Erich Gephart driving a jail transport vehicle that struck and injured Charles Hill. Remands for proceedings.
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Opinions May 5, 2016

May 5, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. David A. Resnick
14-3791
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. James T. Moody, judge.
Criminal. Affirms David Resnick’s convictions of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, interstate transportation of child pornography, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Finds admission of Resnick’s refusal to take a polygraph test into evidence does not violate his Fifth Amendment rights, and the evidence was sufficient to uphold his firearm conviction. Judge Baurer dissents.
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Opinions May 4, 2016

May 4, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott Schuck v. State of Indiana
73A01-1507-CR-981
Criminal. Reverses decision and remands to trial court to determine amount of investigatory expenses law firm representing Schuck should get after COA found investigation was necessary even though Schuck pleaded guilty after trial began.
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Opinions May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Knauf Insulation, Inc. v Southern Brands, Inc. and Albert and Rosemary Dowd
15-3157
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms Southern Brands needs to pay more than $3.5 million to Knauf Insulation after SBI filed a counterclaim in a price-gouging suit too late to be considered.

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