Opinions

Opinions June 14, 2016

June 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gregory Schafer v. Kathryne Borchert d/b/a Southlake Realty.
56A04-1507-CP-977
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment for Kathryne Borchert after Gregory Schafer appealed the judgment on Schafer’s claims that a tax sale notice was sent to him one day late when Borchert filed for a quiet title. Schafer had filed on cross-appeal to have the tax deeds set aside. The Court of Appeals found the trial court misinterpreted Trial Rule 6(A), counting the number of days between the notice and sale incorrectly.
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Opinions June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday.

Matthew D. Claussen, et al. v. Michael R. Pence, Governor of the State of Indiana, et al.
16-1003
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Philip P. Simon, chief judge.
Civil. Affirms Indiana Code 3-5-9-5, which states that a government employee may not also hold an elected position in the municipality they work in, does not violate the First Amendment or the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The 7th Circuit held that the interest Indiana has in avoiding corruption or the appearance of corruption outweighs any First Amendment violations the plaintiffs’ may suffer by not being able to serve in elected office.
 

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Opinions June 10, 2016

June 10, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy A. Williamson v. U.S. Bank National Association
49A05-1506-MF-521
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment for U.S. Bank after the court found a mistake in making the deed for the property didn’t mean Timothy Williamson did not own the property at the time of a modification agreement. Williamson’s name was not on the deed after it was accidentally included in the sheriff’s sale and sold to the bank but the bank rectified the issue.
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Opinions June 9, 2016

June 9, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Edwin Guzman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A05-1509-CR-1548
Criminal. Affirms denial of Edwin Guzman’s motion to correct error following his conviction as a habitual traffic offender, a Level 6 felony.
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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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  1. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  2. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  3. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  4. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  5. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

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