Opinions

Opinions April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony Wade v. Terex-Telelect, Inc.
29A05-1101-CT-72
Civil tort. Reverses jury verdict in favor of Terex-Telelect on Wade’s negligence claim under the Indiana Product Liability Act. Wade was prejudiced by the judge instructing the jury as to the rebuttable presumption under Indiana Code 34-20-5-1. Remands for a new trial. Judge Bradford concurs in part and dissents in part.
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Opinions April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Salsbery Pork Producers, Inc., Richard K. Wilson, Tipton Co. Commissioners, Tipton Co. Highway Department, Chad Bergin, State of Indiana, Indiana Department of Transportation v. Latina Booth
49A02-1110-CT-983
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s denial of motion for transfer of venue, holding that the state should have been dropped as a defendant because only Tipton County had control over the road where a crash occurred. Remands for proceedings consistent with its opinion that Tipton County is the preferred venue rather than Marion County.
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Opinions April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of L.J., and R.J., III; and V.A., and R.J. v. Marion Co. Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates (NFP)
49A02-1108-JT-804
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights for mother and father.
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Opinions April 6, 2012

April 6, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Beverly K. Copeland, et al. v. Penske Logistics LLC; Penske Logistics, Inc.; and Chauffeurs, Teamsters, Warehousemen and Helpers Local Union Number 135
11-1955
U.S. Ditrict Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. In hybrid breach-of-contract/duty-of-fair representation suit, affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in the matter of fair representation. Citing lack of subject matter jurisdiction, remanded for dismissal of the claim that the union failed to engage in good faith bargaining.
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Opinions April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. Ronald Glenn Dyer
28A04-1107-MF-404
Mortgage Foreclosure. Reverses trial court’s order that GMAC Mortgage rewrite an agreement about an FHA-insured loan that Ronald Dyer defaulted on. Appellate court held that under federal law and HUD regulations, deeds in lieu of foreclosure release the borrower from any mortgage obligation and in this case the standard language GMAC used was sufficient.

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Opinions April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Melanie Webster v. Walgreen Co.
55A01-1110-CT-442
Civil. Affirms judgment of trial court denying motion to amend the filing date of a complaint against Walgreen in order to comply with the statute of limitations. The appellate court held that “mailing” for purposes of the Indiana Trial Rules requires the sender to affix sufficient postage, and since that didn’t happen here the original complaint was untimely.
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Opinions April 3, 2012

April 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
William Minnick v. State of Indiana
47A05-1108-CR-448
Criminal. Minnick failed to establish that his right to speedy sentencing was violated. Reverses conviction of Class A felony robbery and orders that it be entered as a Class B felony due to double jeopardy and that a 20-year and consecutive sentence on this count be imposed. Minnick also failed to establish that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his request for a competency hearing.
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Opinions April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Laenise Arnett v. Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security
11-2424
U.S District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses decision by administrative law judge to deny claim for disability insurance benefits as the judge failed to properly assess residual functional capacity. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kristine A. and Larry G. Dawson v. Fifth Third Bank
49A02-1107-PL-704
Civil plenary. Affirms order denying the Dawsons’ motion for summary judgment and granting Fifth Third Bank’s cross-motion for summary judgment on its claim for replevin. When Magish, who sold a motorcycle to the Dawsons, defaulted on his loan from Fifth Third, the bank as the secured party had the right to take possession of the motorcycle.
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Opinions March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ronyai Thompson v. State of Indiana
49A05-1106-CR-323
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Thompson’s motion to dismiss the charges against him. The court did not err when it granted the state’s peremptory challenges as to the two African-American members of the venire. There was sufficient evidence from which the jury could infer Thompson intended to exercise control over the cocaine.
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Opinions March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Juan M. Garrett v. State of Indiana
49A04-1107-PC-410
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Because Garrett’s double jeopardy claims are without merit, he was not prejudiced by his trial and direct appeal attorneys’ failure to raise these claims.
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Opinions March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lorraine (Carpenter) Miller v. Karl Carpenter
29A02-1107-DR-663
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court’s grant of joint legal custody to father, holding the evidence does not support modification of custody. Rejects the mother’s argument that the court made a de facto modification of physical custody, holding the court merely modified parenting time, and holds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in reducing the father’s child support obligations.
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Opinions March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lavern Ceaser v. State of Indiana
49A02-1106-CR-580
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Ceaser’s motion to dismiss, holding that her prior conviction for battering the same child in the same manner similar to the underlying incident was admissible under the intent and lack of accident or mistake exceptions to Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b). Further holds evidence at trial was sufficient to rebut her claim of parental privilege.
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Opinions March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Troy R. Smith v. State of Indiana
35S02-1106-CR-369
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s judgment to revoke probation for Troy Smith on grounds that he failed to pay weekly child support as a condition of his probation. Justices disagreed with Smith’s appellate argument that state failed to carry its burden of proof that his failure to pay was reckless, knowing or intentional.
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Opinions March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Sheila Perdue, et al. v. Michael A. Gargano, et al.
49S02-1107-PL-437
Civil plenary. Reverses in part Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer’s ruling on challenge to Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s automated system of processing claims for Medicaid, food stamps, and temporary assistance. Holds that the FSSA’s denial notices are insufficiently explanatory but that the agency may deny an application when that person fails to cooperate in the eligibility determination process. Affirms in part the trial court’s grant of Sheila Perdue’s summary judgment motion on the grounds that she’s entitled to reasonable accommodations in applying for benefits but that does not necessarily require a caseworker or case management services.
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Opinions March 21, 2012

March 21, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. International Business Machines Corporation
49S00-1201-PL-15
Civil plenary. Holds that Indiana Code 34-29-2-1 – providing that the governor of the state of Indiana is “privileged from arrest on civil process, and from obeying any subpoena to testify” – operates to preclude a trial court from issuing an order to compel the governor’s deposition in a contract dispute brought by the state of Indiana against a contractor. Justice Sullivan concurs in result.
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Opinions March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Estate of Nicholas D. Rice, deceased, by Rick D. Rice and Diane J. Waldrop, co-personal representatives v. Correctional Medical Services, et al.
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2012/march/GK0PUU3D.pdf
09-2804, 10-2389
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judges Robert L. Miller Jr. and Rudy Lozano.
Civil. In No. 09-2804, affirms in part and reverse in part the District Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendants. A material dispute of fact precludes summary judgment on one of the estate’s Section 1983 claims. In No. 10-2389, reverses the District Court’s decision to dismiss the state claims on the basis of collateral estoppel. Remands both cases for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
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Opinions March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Jimmie E. Jones, Jr. v. State of Indiana
29S02-1108-CR-511
Criminal. Adopts Court of Appeals opinion in full, which affirmed the refusal by the trial court to give Jones’ tendered instructions on reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter as lesser-included offenses to the murder charge. The evidence didn’t support a reckless homicide instruction and the charging information for the murder count foreclosed an involuntary manslaughter instruction.
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Opinions March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Harry Foster III and Linda Foster v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
11-3100
United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springman.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, holding the Fosters’ failure to produce requested documents was a material breach of their insurance agreement.
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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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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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