Opinions

Opinions March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Charlie White, et. al. v. Indiana Democratic Party, through its Chairman , Daniel J. Parker
49S00-1202-MI-73
Miscellaneous. Reverses a decision by Marion Circuit Judge Lou Rosenberg, which found that Charlie White was not eligible to take office following the November 2010 election because he had improperly registered to vote at an address where he was not living. Justice Brent Dickson concurred in result, but wrote separately to say that he agreed with the election contest being dismissed because he sees the Legislature’s attempt to impose additional eligibility qualifications on candidates as unconstitutional and not a basis to contest someone’s eligibility for office.
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Opinions March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Phyllis Hardy, Alax Keith Furnish and Megan Jessica Furnish, by next friend Phyllis Hardy v. Mary Jo Hardy
51S01-1106-PL-366
Civil plenary. Holds that the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act does not preempt the equitable claims over the life insurance proceeds of Carlos Hardy and that the first wife and grandchildren are entitled to a constructive trust over at least a portion of the proceeds.

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Opinions March 13, 2012

March 13, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Shannon McComas v. Edward Brickley
United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
11-2138
Civil. Reverses District Court’s denial of Brickley’s motion for summary judgment. McComas filed suit against Brickley for false arrest after the charges against McComas were dropped.
But Brickley claimed that he had probable cause to arrest McComas and qualified immunity in his role as a police officer. The 7th Circuit agreed and held the District Court erred in its determination of qualified immunity. It remanded with instructions consistent with its opinion.
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Opinions March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., successor in interest to The Money Store Investment Corp., f/d/b/a First Union Small Business Capital v. Neal A. Summers, et al. (NFP)
02A04-1103-CP-112
Civil plenary. Dismisses appeal, holding that Wells Fargo failed to timely file its notice of appeal.

 
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Opinions March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Anthony Raupp
11-2215
United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s determination that Raupp was a “career offender,” due to a previous crime of violence, and affirms 100-month sentence. Judge Diane Wood dissented, holding that the majority relied on a note in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines that is for agency interpretation of its own rule.
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Opinions March 8, 2012

March 8, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S.A v. Marlon K. Spears
No. 10-3338
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence, finding that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s convictions on drug charges.
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Opinions March 7, 2012

March 7, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Angela C. Garrett v. State of Indiana
32A05-1105-CR-239
Criminal. Reverses Class A felony conviction of dealing methamphetamine, finding that the trial court should have instructed the jury on a lesser-included offense of possession of methamphetamine. Remands for a new trial.
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Opinions March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Mark J. Thatcher v. City of Kokomo, et al.
94S00-1109-CQ-570
Certified question. Indiana Code 36-8-4-7(a) applies to a member of the 1977 Fund who is receiving disability benefits and who has been determined to have been recovered pursuant to 35 Indiana Administrative Code 2-5-5(c). And the time period during which a person receives disability benefits under Indiana Code 36-8-8-12(e) does not count toward “years of service” as that term is used in Indiana Code 36-8-4-7(a).
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Opinions March 5, 2012

March 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brandy L. Walczak v. Labor Works-Fort Wayne, LLC, d/b/a Labor Works
02A04-1109-PL-509
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Labor Works-Fort Wayne in Walczak’s suit for unpaid wages. Concludes that the matter must be first submitted to the Department of Labor for resolution, so the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claims until the DOL had made a determination. Remands with instructions to dismiss the complaint.
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Opinions March 2, 2012

March 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian Scott Hartman v. State of Indiana
68A01-1106-CR-264
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Hartman’s motion to suppress a statement he made to the police regarding involvement in the death of his father. Hartman initiated further communication by asking whether the search warrant had been served and whether anything had been found, and then told the detective that he wanted to speak with him.
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Opinions March 1, 2012

March 1, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeremy K. Warriner v. DC Marshall Jeep a/k/a DC Marshall, Inc.
49A02-1106-CT-489
Civil tort.  Affirms summary judgment for the dealership in Warriner’s suit alleging the dealership is strictly liable for the injuries he sustained in a car accident under the Indiana Products Liability Act and liable for negligent marketing of an unsafe product. Holds a manufacturer’s discharge in bankruptcy does not prevent a trial court from holding jurisdiction over that manufacturer. Judge Bailey concurs in part and concurs in result in part.
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Opinions Feb. 29, 2012

February 29, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Joseph A. Davis v. Herbert Simon and Bui Simon
49A04-1101-CT-5
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Davis’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction a complaint filed by the Simons alleging defamation and false light publicity. Davis’ act of responding to the questions of a reporter who initiated the contact with Davis regarding a California lawsuit, in which he is serving as a plaintiff’s attorney, was not done with the purpose of expressly targeting a resident of the forum state. Judge Kirsch dissents.
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Opinions Feb. 28, 2012

February 28, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jacob Key, Ted J. Brown and Sally A. Brown v. Dewayne Hamilton
48A02-1007-CT-812
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Hamilton, holding that Key – by waving into traffic a driver who caused a crash with Hamilton – assumed a duty of care to a third-party motorist because the signaled driver reasonably expected that traffic was clear.
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Opinions Feb. 27, 2012

February 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Arc Construction Management, LLC, and Alan Muncy v. John Zelenak and Cecilia Zelenak
10A01-1106-CT-247
Civil Tort. Affirms and remands case involving a home construction lawsuit, finding that trial court didn’t err in denying summary judgment on the former homeowners’ claim of breach of implied warranty of habitability.
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Opinions Feb. 24, 2012

February 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
CFS, LLC and Charles Blackwelder v. Bank of America, Successor in Interest to LaSalle Bank Midwest National Association

29A02-1105-MF-436
Mortgage foreclosure.  Affirms trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of Bank of America, finding that the bank established no genuine issue of material fact existed about whether a successor bank surviving after a merger could enforce the note and mortgage of the predecessor.

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Opinions Feb. 23, 2012

February 23, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eriberto Quiroz v. State of Indiana
49A02-1107-CR-577
Criminal. Reverses Quiroz’s conviction of Class C felony child molesting because that conviction along with a Class A felony child molesting conviction constitutes double jeopardy as the same evidence supports both convictions. Remands for the trial court to vacate the Class C felony conviction. The trial court did not commit fundamental error in including in the jury instructions a copy of the charging information that included the counts against Quiroz that had previously been dismissed.
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Opinions Feb. 22, 2012

February 22, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Jerrme Cartwright v. State of Indiana
82S01-1109-CR-564
Criminal. Affirms convictions of attempted battery and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds no evidence of pretext in the state’s strike of venireperson Bard, the only African-American.
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Opinions Feb. 21, 2012

February 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Herbert Yanez v. State of Indiana
49A02-1104-CR-362
Criminal. Reverses conviction of possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor and remands for further proceedings. There was no evidence presented as to why Yanez was stopped and the evidence presented didn’t establish the reasonableness of the state’s actions. Judge Barnes concurs in result in a separate opinion.
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Opinions Feb. 20, 2012

February 20, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Curtis Cole v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, and Owen County (NFP)
93A02-1106-EX-510
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.
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Opinions Feb. 17, 2012

February 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Samuel T. Henzel
11-2293
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms 135-month sentence imposed following guilty plea to traveling across state lines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The District Court miscalculated the imprisonment range favorably to Henzel, and the sentence imposed is actually within the correctly calculated range.
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Opinions Feb. 16, 2012

February 16, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Richmond State Hospital and All Other Similarly Situated State Institutions and Agencies v. Paula Brattain, et al.
49S02-1106-CV-327
Civil. Holds that the back pay recovery of the non-merit employees of the state should be limited in the same manner as the Court of Appeals has set forth for that of merit employees of the state. Remands with instructions to recalculate the non-merit employees’ back pay judgment based upon the time period beginning either 10 days before the complaint or 10 days before the filing of their grievances until the day the state eliminated its split-pay system, and summarily affirms the COA in all other respects.
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Opinions Feb. 15, 2012

February 15, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Pierre Freeman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1107-CR-341
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.
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Opinions Feb. 14, 2012

February 14, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re: The Marriage of K.Z. and M.H.
43A05-1107-DR-436
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order modifying dissolution decree to reflect that a child of the marriage between K.Z. and M.H. had been born after their divorce. Citing mother’s statement in the original dissolution decree, holds that no question of paternity exists, and therefore, the court did not abuse its discretion in modifying the dissolution decree at the father’s request.
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Opinions Feb. 13, 2012

February 13, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bloomington Magazine, Inc. v. Mark Kiang d/b/a Mikado Restaurant, Sunbeam Corp., and Truffles 56 Degrees Incorporated
53A05-1012-SC-790
Civil. Reverses trial court’s order denying a motion to set aside judgment in favor of Mikado Restaurant Sunbeam Corp. and Truffles 56 Degrees. Finds that the trial court abused its discretion in denying a motion for the judge’s recusal and request for a special judge in light of one of the attorney’s past involvement as the judge’s 2008 election campaign chair. Remands the case for proceedings consistent with this appellate decision.
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Opinions Feb. 10, 2012

February 10, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Commissioner of the Indiana Dept. of Insurance v. Tim Black, as Husband and Personal Rep. of Kay Black, Deceased
64A05-1104-CT-240
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s denial of commissioner’s motion to dismiss but agrees with Black that because additional documentation had accompanied the commissioner’s motion, it should be treated as a motion for summary judgment, pursuant to Trial Rule 56. Holds that Black did not provide sufficient evidence of an agreement and a genuine issue of material fact exists. Remands for further proceedings. 
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  1. 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)

  2. "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.

  3. 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.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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