Opinions July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
N.L. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Reverses and remands the trial court order placing N.L. on the sex offender registry, holding that the order was neither issued in connection with an evidentiary hearing nor accompanied by findings.

Opinions June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Brad W. Passwater v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court denial of Passwater’s petition for relief. In the decision, the court reconsiders the instructions it approved in Georgopuls v. State, 735 N.E. 2d 1138, 1143 n.3 (Ind. 2000), for juries faced with the option of finding a defendant not responsible by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill. The court concluded the instruction provided by the Indiana Pattern Jury Instruction 11.20 is better and approved its use.

Opinions June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy W. Parish v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Finds trial court properly denied Parish’s request for counsel at public expense because he had $130,000 in equity in his house, but the facts and circumstances of the case do not warrant a knowing and intelligent waiver of his right to counsel because the trial court did not advise him of the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation. Remands for a new trial.

Opinions June 26, 2013

June 26, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael Alexander v. United States of America
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses Alexander’s malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress lawsuit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The complaint for malicious prosecution sets forth enough plausible detail to provide adequate notice to the defendants and survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Concludes the IIED claim is timely and adequately states a claim.

Opinions June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Loren Hamilton Fry v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms denial of bail for Fry, who is charged with murder. Holds that when a defendant charged with murder or treason seeks bail, the burden is on the state, if it seeks to deny bail, to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the proof is evident or the presumption strong. Chief Justice Dickson concurs to which Justice Rush joins; Rush concurs; Justice Massa concurs in result and dissents with separate opinion; and Justice Rucker dissents with separate opinion in which Massa concurs.

Opinions June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Howard v. Allen County Board of Zoning, Appeals and Alvin Schmucker
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Howard’s petition for judicial review of the decision by the zoning board to grant a use variance for property owned by Schmucker. I.C. 36-7-4-1316 requires dismissal where no materials supporting judicial review of the petitioner’s claims are timely filed and an extension of the filing deadline is not timely requested. Finds the trial court’s determination that it lacked jurisdiction was clearly erroneous, but the statute required dismissal on non-jurisdictional grounds.

Opinions June 21, 2013

June 21, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gasser Chair Company, Inc. v. Marlene J. Nordengreen, Horseshoe Hammond, LLC, d/b/a Horseshoe Casino
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Horseshoe Casino and denial of Gasser Chair Co.’s motion on Nordengreen’s claim that she was injured at the casino while using a chair Gasser manufactured. Gasser has not demonstrated Horseshoe had actual knowledge the chair was dangerous. Declines to hold a premises owner’s knowledge of a dangerous condition on its premises cannot be determined without first knowing the dangerous condition was the “sole proximate case” of an injury. Remands for the trial court to resolve the remaining issues raised in Horseshoe’s third-party complaint against Gasser.

Opinions June 20, 2013

June 20, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Corey L. Grier v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony possession of marijuana and remands for the trial court to amend the sentencing order to comply with the plea agreement.

Opinions June 19, 2013

June 19, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Revas Spencer v. Tiffany Spencer
Protective order. Reverses denial of the agreed order dismissing an order of protection submitted by the Spencers to the trial court. Since the word “shall” appears in the statute regarding the trial court’s actions when the petitioner files for the dismissal of a protection order, the trial court didn’t have the discretion to deny the parties’ request to dismiss the protective order.


Opinions June 18, 2013

June 18, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert Yeftich, et al. v. Navistar Inc. and Indianapolis Casting Corp.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of complaint filed by group of unionized workers alleging breach of collective-bargaining agreement under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. The complaint lacked enough factual content to plead a plausible claim for breach of the duty of fair representation, which is required to pursue this litigation.

Opinions June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: C.L.F., D.K.F., & C.S.F. (Minor Children) and M.F. (Father) & C.J.F. (Mother) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile termination. Affirmed judgment terminating the parental rights of both the mother and father.

Opinions June 14, 2013

June 14, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jason Findlay v. Jonathan Lendermon
Civil/excessive use of force. Reverses District Court denial of summary judgment in favor of Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Lendermon, holding that Findlay has not met a burden of proof showing a violation of a clearly established right when Lendermon grabbed his arm to prevent him from picking up a memory card believed to contain surveillance video of Findlay’s admission of trespassing.

Opinions June 13, 2013

June 13, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Re: the Name Change of Jane Doe, Petitioner, Mary Doe, a Minor, and Baby Doe, a Minor
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of mother Jane Doe’s petition to change her and her children’s names without publishing notice of the change based on the evidence in the record and current law. Mother may be able to protect some information from public record by going through Administrative Rule 9, but she did not choose to do so.


Opinions June 12, 2013

June 12, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
John H. Mooney, as Special Administrator of the Estate of Joseph S. Mooney, Deceased v. Anonymous M.D. 4, Anonymous M.D. 5, and Anonymous Hospital
Civil tort. Reverses order dismissing with prejudice Mooney’s proposed complaint for damages in a medical malpractice action. The trial court did not have jurisdiction to dismiss under Trial Rule 41(E), and it abused its discretion when it dismissed the proposed complaint under I.C. 34-18-10-14.

Opinions June 11, 2013

June 11, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Judson Atkinson Candies, Incorporated v. Kenray Associates, Incorporated, Charles A. McGee and Kenneth J. McGee
12-1035, 12-1036
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr.
Civil. Reverses District Court ruling that Judson Atkinson must demonstrate that it had been induced by fraud to enter into the integration clause in a settlement agreement between it and Kenray Associates, as opposed to the agreement as a whole, in order to circumvent the parol evidence rule. Indiana law does not impose such a bright-line rule.


Opinions June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Javier Munoz
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms 181-month sentence following a guilty plea in 2007 to distributing and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute. Munoz materially breached the conditions of his release and an implied term of the plea agreement by fleeing the country rather than showing up for sentencing.

Opinions June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Supervised Admin. of the Estate of Cora E. Young, deceased; Terry Douthitt, Kelly Douthitt, and Kevin Douthitt v. Theodore R. Young
Estate, unsupervised. Affirms trial court’s finding that the proceeds of a sale of Cora Young’s property should be distributed to her second husband at her death. Since the property was a specific bequest under Young’s will and was sold before her death, it was adeemed by extinction and therefore the proceeds pass to the residuary beneficiary under her will, which is her second husband.

Opinions June 6, 2013

June 6, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott Speers v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary and Class D felony theft. The trial court properly denied Speers’ motion for discharge under Rule 4(C) as much of the delay in bringing Speers to trial was attributable to him. The direct examination of the lead detective did not present evidence in such a way as to crate an evidentiary harpoon.

Opinions June 5, 2013

June 5, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: K.T.K., K.C., and K.R.K. (Minor Children), and R.C. (Mother) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, Dearborn County Office
Juvenile. Sets aside the Court of Appeals order dismissing the mother’s appeal and affirms termination of parental rights. The record supports the trial court’s findings that the conditions resulting in the children’s continued placement outside of the home would not be remedied and termination of parental rights was in the best interest of the children. Denies father’s petition to transfer in separate order.


Opinions June 4, 2013

June 4, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
City of Indianapolis v. Rachael Buschman
Civil tort. Affirmed trial court’s grant of summary judgment in Buschman’s favor and remanded the case for further proceedings. Ruled that Buschman’s inclusion of information about her injuries does not restrict the scope of her claim. Although she stated in her claim she did not suffer any injuries from an auto accident involving an Indianapolis police officer, the amended statute governing the Indiana Tort Claims Act does not require a description of injuries. The court concluded when the Legislature amended the statute, it intended to remove any pre-existing requirement of specificity in regards to personal injuries.  

Opinions June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jeffrey Weaver
Criminal. Vacates judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and remands for resentencing. Weaver was sentenced to 235 months imprisonment after the District Court determined his sentence should be enhanced because he was functioning as a manager/supervisor in supplying methamphetamine to two buyers and pressuring them to sell the drugs. The Circuit Court found his actions did not rise to the 3-level enhancement because he did not have the control necessary to coerce the buyers. Instead Weaver was encouraging behavior that would protect his investment and insure payment of the debt owed to him. 

Opinions May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Brian Scott Hartman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reversed and remanded a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress Hartman’s confession. Found Hartman’s previous invocation of his Miranda rights was still in place when detectives questioned him days later because his earlier request for counsel was unproductive which likely increased the coercive pressure.  


Opinions May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Daniel L. Delaney
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Delaney’s argument that no reasonable juror could have failed to find that he acted in the heat of passion when he killed his cellmate fails because there was considerable evidence of forethought, much of it emanating from the defendant’s own statements. Judge Bauer concurs.

Opinions May 29, 2013

May 29, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jill Finfrock a/k/a Jill Bastone v. Mark Finfrock
Domestic relation. Reverses award of attorney fees to Mark Finfrock. The award was based on perceived violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is inapplicable because Finfrock’s arrearage of child support is not considered “debt” under the Act. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by declining Jill Bastone’s request to enter a qualified domestic relations order to attach to the entirety of her ex-husband’s retirement account. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Streeter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of amended petition for post-conviction relief.
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  1. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  3. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  4. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well