Opinions

Opinions June 6, 2012

June 6, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Keith D. Jackson v. State of Indiana
20A03-1105-CR-222
Criminal. Reverses sentence for possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and remands for resentencing, holding the trial court erred by imposing a suspended sentence of four years contrary to the accepted plea agreement.
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Opinions June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin C. O'Connell v. State of Indiana
18A02-1109-CR-889
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s decision to refuse O’Connell’s tendered jury instructions that the word “voluntary” be included with each of his charges. Holds that other instructions covered the substance of the tendered instructions.
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Opinions June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
R. Bruce Wallace v. Alliance Environmental, Inc. and Ruth Brown (NFP)

49A04-1111-CC-665
Civil collection. Affirms trial court’s recalculation of damages to Brown for Wallace’s breach of fiduciary duty.
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Opinions June 1, 2012

June 1, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Michael Sheneman
11-3161
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for four counts of wire fraud in a two-year mortgage fraud scheme. Holds that Sheneman’s sentence enhancements were justified, due to the sophisticated means used to execute the fraud.
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Opinions May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Aaron M. Davis, Bobby Suggs, et al.
11-1313, 11-1323, et al.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. In consolidated appeal, affirms denial of the six defendants’ motion to reduce their sentences pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 3582(c)(2) based on the retroactive crack cocaine amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The District Court did not have the power to adjudicate Suggs’ motion and lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. There is sufficient evidence for the District Court to conclude the other defendants were responsible for at least 4.5 kilograms of crack cocaine, which would prevent their sentences from being reduced.
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Opinions May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Clifton Ervin v. State of Indiana
29A05-1109-CR-454
Criminal. Affirms grant of a portion of Ervin’s motion to suppress. The trial court properly determined that the evidence seized by the uniformed on-duty police officers should not be suppressed pursuant to the exclusionary rule. Remands for trial.
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Opinions May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jason Tye Myers v. Charles R. Deets III, Deets & Kennedy, and Great American Insurance Group
79A02-1108-CT-771
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Edward Kennedy and the law firm on Myers’ claim for fraud against them and Deets. Myers couldn’t show that either Kennedy or the law firm was liable for Deets’ alleged fraudulent conduct. Reverses grant of Great American Insurance Group’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and remands for further proceedings. Judge Riley concurs in part and dissents in part.
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Opinions May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
E. Paul Haste v. State of Indiana
03A01-1108-CR-369
Criminal. Dismisses Haste’s appeal of his conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine because the order from which he appeals isn’t a final judgment.
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Opinions May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Finance Center Federal Credit Union v. Ronnie D. Brand, Debora J. Brand and GMAC Mortgage, LLC
49A02-1111-MF-1089
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms partial summary judgment in favor of GMAC regarding the priority of the GMAC Mortgage and Finance Center Federal Credit Union mortgages. Equity should not allow the Finance Center to gain an unexpectedly elevated priority because of any negligence of GMAC that did not harm Finance Center.
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Opinions May 23, 2012

May 23, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gabriel J. Sharkey v. State of Indiana
84A04-1110-CR-550
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony intimidation. Sharkey’s 18-month suspended sentence is appropriate in light of the nature of the crime and his character.
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Opinions May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of V.H.; J.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services

49A02-1110-JC-947
Juvenile. Reverses juvenile court’s grant of CHINS petition and vacates the court’s participation order, holding that the CHINS adjudication and participation decree were erroneous.
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Opinions May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kristi J. Cortezano v. Salin Bank & Trust Company

United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
11-1631
Civil. Affirms District court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Salin Bank & Trust Company, holding the bank did not violate Cortezano’s rights by firing her due to her husband’s immigration status. Remands to the District Court to strike from the record the names of Cortezano’s three children, as the District Court had not previously ruled on that motion.
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Opinions May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re the Adoption of S.J., R.W. v. G.C. and J.C.
04A03-1110-AD-449
Adoption. Dismisses appeal from R.W., the biological father of S.J., holding than an order that states his consent is not required for the petition to proceed neither grants nor denies S.J.’s adoption and is not a final, appealable action.
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Opinions May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Heriberto Suarez v. State of Indiana
02A05-1106-PC-325
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. The court did not err in denying his claim that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
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Opinions May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert A. Turner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
62A01-1111-CR-514
Criminal. Affirms imposition of public defender fee.
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Opinions May 14, 2012

May 14, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dana L. Lewis, Jr. v. State of Indiana
40A01-1106-CR-276
Criminal. Reverses denial of Lewis’ motion to suppress statements he made during a police interview regarding an alleged sex crime. Lewis’ question, “Can I get a lawyer?” constituted an unequivocal invocation of his Fifth Amendment right to counsel.
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Opinions May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
BMD Contractors Inc. v. Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland
11-1345
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland. The Industrial Power/BMD Contractors subcontract expressly provides that Industrial Power’s receipt of payment is a condition precedent to its obligation to pay BMD. Because Industrial Power was never obligated to pay BMD in the first place, BMD may not recover against Fidelity on the payment bond. Also holds that pay-if-paid clauses are not void under Indiana public policy.
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Opinions May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Allison Riggle v. State of Indiana
49A05-1109-CR-472
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The traffic stop was invalid because Riggle did not commit a traffic violation. Remands with instructions to vacate her conviction.
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Opinions May 9, 2012

May 9, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ashanti Clemons v. State of Indiana
49A02-1108-PC-737
Post conviction. Affirms denial of amended petition for post-conviction relief. Clemons was not denied effective assistance of his trial and appellate counsel.
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Opinions May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Luis Ramos v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A04-1103-CR-138
Criminal. Affirms sentences for felony murder and Class A misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license, but remands for correction of sentence, holding sentences were to be served consecutively, not concurrently.
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Opinions May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
M.O. v. Indiana Dept. of Insurance, Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund
53A05-1112-PL-682
Civil plenary. Affirms conclusion that Indiana Code 24-4.6-1-101 (1993), with its 8 percent interest rate, applies to payments to M.O, a successful malpractice claimant, and that interest began to accrue on the 15th day of the month following the end of the claim period in which the claim was filed with the Patient’s Compensation Fund.
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Opinions May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Andrew C. Kesling, individually and as Trustee of the Andrew C. Kesling Trust v. Peter C. Kesling, et al.
45A03-1106-PL-271
Civil plenary. Reverses judgment in favor of father Peter Kesling that found he was entitled to rescission of stock purchase agreements entered into on June 25, 2004. Finds that Andrew Kesling’s trust declaration did not deprive him status as a shareholder and that he was a shareholder when he entered into the purchase agreements with Peter Kesling. Remands for the court to rule on the claims raised by Andrew Kesling’s siblings.
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Opinions May 1, 2012

May 1, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Securities and Exchange Commission v. First Choice Management Services Inc. et al.; SonCo Holdings LLC v. Joseph D. Bradley, receiver, and ALCO Oil & Gas Co. LLC
11-1702
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Affirms order insofar as it determines that SonCo willfully violated the agreed order, but vacates the $600,000 sanction and remands. On remand, the judge can: reimpose the sanction he imposed, upon demonstrating that it is a compensatory remedy for a civil contempt after all; impose a different or perhaps no sanction, whether for civil contempt or for misconduct not characterized as contempt; or proceeding under the rules governing criminal contempts.
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Opinions April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
D.A. v. State of Indiana
49A02-1108-JV-692
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s decision to order inpatient treatment for D.A. who entered into a plea agreement admitting to Class B misdemeanor battery if committed by an adult and “conditionally” agreed to admit to Class C felony child molesting, if committed by an adult. D.A.’s placement is consistent with the goals for his rehabilitation. The appellate judges do not have jurisdiction to resolve the issue of whether the trial court erred in accepting his conditional plea to the child molesting charge because there was no evidence of D.A.’s intent with regard to the molesting. The conditional plea is the equivalent to a withheld judgment so there is no final judgment or appealable final order from which to appeal.
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Opinions April 27, 2012

April 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of V.C., Child Alleged to be in Need of Services v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services
79A02-1112-JC-1172
Juvenile. Affirms determination that V.C. is a child in need of services. The juvenile court did not erroneously deny father’s request to issue a subpoena to the maternal aunt. Father also failed to demonstrate good cause for granting his request for a continuance, so the juvenile court acted within its discretion in denying his request.
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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