Opinions

Opinions Sept. 15, 2016

September 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mindy M. Cline v. State of Indiana
38A04-1512-XP-2221
Expungement petition. Reverses and remands denial of Mindy Cline’s petition for expungement, finding trial court abused its discretion in denying her petition. Judge Michael Barnes dissents with separate opinion.
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Opinions Sept. 14, 2016

September 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Meridian Health Services Corporation v. Thomas Martin Bell

71A04-1511-DR-2005
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order finding Meridian Health Services Corporation in contempt of court for failure to comply with a subpoena duces tecum and appear at a deposition and awarding attorney fees as a sanction. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding Meridian in contempt.
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Opinions Sept. 13, 2016

September 13, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
William Hinesley, III v. Wendy Knight, superintendent, Correctional Industrial Facility

15-2122
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Jane E. Magnus?Stinson, Judge.
Civil. Affirms district court’s decision to deny William Hinesley’s petition for writ of habeas corpus. Finds that Hinesley’s counsel was not ineffective in a prejudicial manner.
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Opinions Sept. 12, 2016

September 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marc Lindsey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A03-1508-CR-1086
Criminal. Affirms Marc Lindsey’s conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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Opinions Sept. 9, 2016

September 9, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Julie R. Waterfield v. Richard D. Waterfield
92A03-1511-PL-1968
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s order denying Julie R. Waterford’s request to set aside her divorce decree entered in 1997 based on the allegation of fraud committed by Richard D. Waterfield while negotiating a settlement leading to the dissolution of the marriage. Finds that Julie Waterfield failed to establish that Richard Waterfield committed fraud. Finds that Richard Waterfield is entitled to an award of attorney fees.
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Opinions Sept. 8, 2016

September 8, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas A. Carpenter, et al. v. The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company
33A01-1602-CT-265
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment and declaratory judgment in favor of Cincinnati Specialty. It had no obligation to make payments under a consent judgment in which Carpenter and Cincinnati’s insured, Lovell’s Lounge, agreed Carpenter’s injuries were caused by Lovell’s Lounge’s negligence or that Lovell’s was vicariously liable for injuries Carpenter sustained when he was punched in the jaw by patron Jerry Dean Johnson. Finds the consent judgment was obtained by bad faith or collusion, collateral estoppel does not apply, and CSU is not bound by the consent judgment.
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Opinions Sept. 7, 2016

September 7, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of: J.B., A Child in Need of Services: S.M. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
47A01-1604-JC-765
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms J.B.’s designation as a child in need of services.
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Opinions Sept. 6, 2016

September 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian W. Ellison v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
92A05-1604-CR-964
Criminal. Affirms Ellison’s designation as a credit-restricted felon. Finds sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s determination that Ellison molested A.E. on or after July 1, 2008, the effective date of the credit-restricted felon statute.
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Opinions Sept. 2, 2016

September 2, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Commitment of H.F. v. Eskenazi Health/Midtown Clinic (mem. dec.)
49A02-1602-MH-335
Mental health. Affirms order for temporary involuntary civil commitment, not to exceed 90 days. 
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Opinions Sept. 1, 2016

September 1, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Harold E. Bean
49S00-1601-DI-2
Discipline. Disbars Bean for engaging in attorney misconduct while the elected clerk-treasurer of the town of Warren Park. He pleaded guilty to theft and official misconduct as Class D felonies after writing dozens of checks to himself from town funds.
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Opinions Aug. 31, 2016

August 31, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
George P. Broadbent, and Plainfield Village, LP v. Fifth Third Bank
32A01-1602-MF-345
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment for the bank. The trial court properly interpreted the guaranties of the contract and applied the guaranties’ terms to calculate Broadbent’s liability.
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Opinions Aug. 30, 2016

August 30, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Paternity of: L.S., Chen Su v. James Lowe (mem. dec.)
49A02-1512-JP-2196
Juvenile. Affirms order modifying custody of L.S. to sole legal custody of father, parenting time and child support.
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Opinions Aug. 29, 2016

August 29, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Michael Day v. State of Indiana
24S05-1606-CR-358
Criminal. Affirms Day’s disorderly conduct conviction. Concludes that the “fighting” subsection of the disorderly conduct statute does not contain a public disturbance element but does require a physical altercation. His intentional spitting provided sufficient evidence of a physical altercation.
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Opinions Aug. 26, 2016

August 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dorothy Williams v. State of Indiana
46A03-1511-CR-1913
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Finds the state’s impairment of Williams’ speech was constitutional because it was rational and her speech was politically ambiguous for purposes of an Article I, Section 9 affirmative defense.
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Opinions Aug. 25, 2016

August 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Scott David Hurwich 1986 Irrevocable Trust Scott D. Hurwich v. Stacey R. MacDonald
71A03-1602-TR-301
Trust. Reverses the probate court’s order dismissing Hurwich’s complaint. Hurwich’s appeal was timely filed and dismissal of his complaint was not appropriate. Specific factual support is not required under Indiana Trial Rule 8(A) as factual specifics may not be available until discovery is made.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2016

August 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher Compton v. State of Indiana
82A01-1511-CR-1997
Criminal. Affirms conviction of three counts of felony murder and the finding that Compton is a habitual offender. The trial court did not deprive Compton of due process when it allowed the media to tweet live updates of his trial from the courtroom, nor did it err in admitting evidence of Compton’s incriminatory statements. Calls for guidance on social media use during criminal trials.
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Opinions Aug. 23, 2016

August 23, 2016

Indiana Supreme Court
Kristy Burnell v. State of Indiana
29S02-1512-CR-707
Criminal. Affirms trial court decision to not terminate license suspension. Holds a refusal to submit to a chemical test occurs when the conduct of the motorist is such that a reasonable person in the officer’s position would be justified in believing the motorist was capable of refusal and manifested an unwillingness to submit to the test. Burnell has the burden of demonstrating the evidence shows her license suspension by the BMV should be overturned, and she did not carry this burden.

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Opinions Aug. 22, 2016

August 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas M. Curtis v. State of Indiana
49A02-1512-CR-2293
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass. Because the apartment complex where Curtis had been living with his father provided him a 48-hour grace period to remove his property and Curtis was arrested while in the process of gathering his personal belongings, there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction.
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Opinions Aug. 19, 2016

August 19, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Amir Basic and Gerard Arthus v. Numan A. Amouri, Mohamad H. Mohajeri, Mohammad Aslam Chaudhry, Adnan Khan, Imdad Zackariya, Mohammad Sirajuddin, Sarah Shaikh, Aijaz Shaikh, Ismail Al-Ani, et al.
71A03-1510-PL-1820
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court findings that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction, appellants lacked standing and its decision to quash certain subpoenas in a dispute brought against the imam of the Islamic Society of Michiana Inc., by a Amir Basic, a member of the board of directors and trustees, after he was removed. Finds Basic and Gerard Arthus acted in procedural bad faith. Grants appellees’ request for damages and remands to the trial court for a determination of those damages.
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Opinions Aug. 18, 2016

August 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., and Terry L. Brown, Jr. v. The Guardianship of Kristen Zak
45A03-1506-CT-670
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict in favor of the guardianship of Kristen Zak on the guardianship’s negligence claim. Zak’s vehicle slid on snowy conditions on I-65 and crashed into a J.B. Hunt semi that had jackknifed an hour prior. Finds there were multiple questions of fact that needed to be answered by a jury and there is no basis on which to second-guess the jury. There are also no questions of law warranting reversal.
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Opinions Aug. 17, 2016

August 17, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Weathers v. State of Indiana
49A04-1601-CR-3
Criminal. Affirms Level 5 felony possession of a handgun without a license conviction. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the handgun at trial, which was found after a warrantless inventory search of Weathers’ vehicle after he was stopped and arrested for driving without a license.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2016

August 16, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of R.S., (Minor Child), and R.S. (Father) v. Marion County Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
49S04-1606-JT-350
Juvenile. Reverses termination of father’s parental rights. The trial court’s findings do not clearly and convincingly support its conclusion that termination of father’s parental rights is in the best interests of the son.
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Opinions Aug. 15, 2016

August 15, 2016
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
United States of America v. Darrell L. Duncan
15-3485
Appeal from U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Holds that a conviction for robbery under the Indiana statute qualifies under the still-valid elements clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act definition of violent felony. Robbery by placing a person in fear of bodily injury under Indiana law involves an explicit or implicit threat of physical force and therefore qualifies as a violent felony under 18 U.S.C. Section 924(e)(2)(B)(i.)
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Opinions Aug. 12, 2016

August 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bryan Modglin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A02-1512-CR-2113
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder, Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury, Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury and Class A misdemeanor battery.
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Opinions Aug. 11, 2016

August 11, 2016
The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Alphonse D. Owens v. LVNV Funding, LLC; Joshua Birtchman v. LVNV Funding LLC, et al.
15-2044, 15-2082, 15-2109
Appeal from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms in the three cases the District Court’s grant of the defendant debt collector’s motion to dismiss lawsuits alleging that the act of filing a proof of claim on a stale debt violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The plaintiffs had not stated claims for relief under the Act. Chief Judge Diane Wood dissents.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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