Opinions

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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Opinions May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016
Indiana Tax Court
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.
Hamilton Southeastern Utilities v Indiana State Department of Revenue

49T10-1210-TA-00068.
Tax. Grants summary judgment to Hamilton Southeastern on challenge that the company’s connection fees are not subject to utility rate tax. The company separated its fees from its taxable receipts on its return.

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Opinions April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
P & P Home Services, LLC v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Cynthia Hutcherson
93A02-1511-EX-1818
Agency action. Reverses Department of Workforce Development Review Board determination that a former employee of P&P Home Services is eligible for unemployment benefits. Remands to the board for a determination of whether the worker’s employment relationship was voluntarily severed by the employee.
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Opinions April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Kathy L. Siner, Personal Representative of the Estate of Geraldine A. Siner, Deceased, et al. v. Kindred Hospital Limited Partnership, d/b/a Kindred Hospital of Indianapolis, et al.
49S05-1604-CT-219
Civil tort. Reverses find of summary judgment for Kindred Hospital and Mohammed Majid after the Supreme Court found genuine issues of material fact in the case.
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Opinions April 27, 2016

April 27, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Ronald Sanford Jr. v. State of Indiana
49S05-1604-PC-210
Post conviction. Reverses trial court and Court of Appeals decisions and finds Ronald Sanford can file a belated notice of appeal of his sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, among other charges, because of “unique circumstances.”
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Opinions April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
William Bowman v. State of Indiana
 21S04-1510-CR-604
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug within 1,000 feet of a school property and being a habitual substance offender. The evidence was sufficient to sustain William Bowman’s conviction despite a second baggie of evidence not being tested to prove it was heroin after a first bag of heroin was tested.
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Opinions April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kelly E. Culver v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
84A01-1511-PC-1964
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Kelly Culver’s petition for post-conviction relief.
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Opinions April 22, 2016

April 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kennedy Tank & Mfg. Co., Inc.; and Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., and Hemlock Semiconductor, LLC v. Emmert Industrial Corporation, d/b/a Emmert International
49A02-1507-CT-934
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Kennedy Tank Manufacturing’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it by Emmert International. The Indiana statute of limitation the trial court relied on is preempted by a federal statute with a shorter limitations period, and Emmert did not bring the lawsuit within that period.
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Opinions April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Adam Horton v. State of Indiana
79S02-1510-CR-628
Criminal. Reverses Adam Horton’s conviction of Class D felony domestic battery after the court found Horton did not waive his right to jury trial on the charge. Remands for a new trial. The failure to confirm his person waiver before proceeding to a bench trial was fundamental error.
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Opinions April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eddie G. Love v. State of Indiana
20A05-1509-CR-1327
Criminal. Remands Eddie Love’s petition for habeas corpus to Elkhart Circuit Court with instructions to dismiss because Love improperly field his petition without permission from the court.
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Opinions April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Energy Policy Institute, and Common Cause of Indiana v. Eric Koch, and Indiana House Republican Caucus
49S00-1510-PL-607
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of lawsuit seeking copies of Koch’s, and his staff’s, correspondence with various business organizations in relation to specific legislation. Holds whether the work product exception within the Indiana Access to Public Records Act applies to the Indiana General Assembly presents a non-justiciable question. Justice Rucker dissents in part with separate opinion.
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Opinions April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Toddrick Ogburn v. State of Indiana
82A01-1509-CR-1546
Criminal. Reverses and remands Toddrick Ogburn’s conviction of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in an amount greater than 10 pounds, a Class C felony, because the court abused its discretion by admitting evidence in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
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