Opinions

Opinions Feb. 25, 2016

February 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
John H. Hill v. State of Indiana
20A03-1507-CR-907
Criminal. Affirms John Hill’s convictions of criminal confinement, a Class C felony, domestic battery, a Class D felony, domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor and interference with the reporting of a crime, a Class A misdemeanor.  The state did not interfere with his defense by moving to exclude the testimony of a witness.
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Opinions Feb. 24, 2016

February 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Billy Luke v. State of Indiana
15A01-1409-CR-407
Criminal. Affirms Billy Luke’s convictions for invasion of privacy as Class D felonies and the revocation of his probation. Remands with instructions to vacate Luke’s conviction for stalking as a Class C felony because of a double jeopardy violation.
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Opinions Feb. 23, 2016

February 23, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kathy Ann Stark v. Carolyn W. Colvin

15-2352
US District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
Joseph S. Van Bokkelen, Judge.
Civil. Remands denial of disability insurance benefits to Social Security Administration, finding the administrative law judge applied flawed analyses to deny Stark’s claim.
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Opinions Feb. 22, 2016

February 22, 2016
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.

USA vs. Lon Campbell
15-1188
US District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Tonya Walton Pratt, Judge.
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of Campbell’s sentence of 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release because he waived his right to appeal in district court.

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Opinions Feb. 18, 2016

February 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David W. Gerth v. State of Indiana
29A02-1506-CR-693
Criminal. Reverses David Gerth’s convictions for Class C felony dealing in marijuana and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

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Opinions Feb. 17, 2016

February 17, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
In Re: Biglari Holdings Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation. Chad Taylor and Edward Donahue v. Sardar Biglari
15-1828
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms ruling there was no demand futility in three transactions which sold holdings to Biglari Holdings CEO Sardar Biglari.
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Opinions Feb. 16, 2016

February 16, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Tom Bonnell v. Ruby A. Cotner, Douglas Wayne Cotner, Arthur J. Johnson, Jimmy J. Johnson, and Jerry L. Johnson
66S03-1509-PL-530
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Cotners’ adverse possession claim and reverses the grant of a prescriptive easement, finding that the sale of the 35-foot-wide strip of land by tax deed extinguished any and all interest the Cotners previously possessed.
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Opinions Feb. 15, 2016

February 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Takesha Lashawn Sanders v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
45A04-1506-CR-648
Criminal. Affirms conviction of guilty but mentally ill of murder after a jury trial.

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Opinions Feb. 12, 2016

February 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David J. and Susan L. MacFadyen v. City of Angola, City of Angola Plan Commission, and Trine University, Inc.

17A03-1506-CT-556
Civil tort. Affirms decision by the Angola Plan Commission to vacate a portion of an alley on Trine University property near the MacFadyens’ property. The MacFadyens did not show they were aggrieved by the vacation.
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Opinions Feb. 10, 2016

February 10, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas A. Ambrose II v. Dalton Construction, Inc.

29A02-1407-CC-479
Civil collection. Clarifies on rehearing that there is a statutory requirement that modifications to a home improvement contract must be in writing, notwithstanding the language in Sees v. Bank One, Ind., N.A., 839, N.E.2d 154, 161 (Ind. 2005). But this does not change the result of the case and affirms denial of Ambrose’s motion for summary judgment and the entry of final judgment in favor of Dalton Construction on its complaint to foreclose a mechanic’s lien.
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Opinions Feb. 9, 2016

February 9, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Debbie A. Stage v. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security
15-1837
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph Van Bokklelen.
Civil. Vacates the denial of Stage’s application for supplemental security income, disability insurance benefits and disabled widow’s benefits. Finds the medical evidence does not support the administrative law judge’s decision that Stage could stand or walk for six hours a day; stoop, crouch, occasionally climb ramps or stairs; and lift or carry up to 20 pounds. Remands for further consideration.
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Opinions Feb. 8, 2016

February 8, 2016
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Opinions Feb. 5, 2016

February 5, 2016
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Opinions Feb. 4, 2016

February 4, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Chad T. Mooney, Brittany McCool
82A04-1505-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms denial of the state’s motions for relief from judgment regarding the trial court’s orders permitting Mooney and McCool’s driving privileges to be reinstated without proof of future financial responsibility. The state has not established prima facie error in the trial court’s denial of its motions for relief from judgment. 
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Opinions Feb. 3, 2016

February 3, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brenda Hall v. Dallman Contractors, LLC, Shook LLC, and AT&T Services, Inc.
49A02-1502-CT-67
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of AT&T Services Inc. on Hall’s negligence action against the company. It is barred by the exclusive remedies provision of the Worker’s Compensation Act because Hall has already received a workers’ compensation settlement from Ameritech, her employer, which, like AT&T Services Inc., is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.
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Opinions Feb. 2, 2016

February 2, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Nicholas Hargrave
82A01-1504-CR-137
Criminal. Reverses denial of state’s motion to correct error after the trial court granted Hargrave’s petition asking it to order the BMV to reinstate his driving privileges without requiring him to provide proof of SR22 insurance. The BMV properly interpreted federal regulations adopted by Indiana statutes to mean that a person who holds a CDL at the time he commits a traffic violation may not participate in a diversion program. And because Hargrave’s driving privileges were suspended under I.C. 9-30-6-9, he is required to file proof of financial responsibility for three years following the termination of his suspension under I.C. 9-30-6-12.
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Opinions Feb. 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
DeKalb County Assessor v. Paul L. and Joan E. Chavez
49T10-1502-TA-6
Tax. Affirms the final determination by the Indiana Board of Tax Review to reclassify 2.72 acres of the Chavezes’ land from excess residential to agricultural for the 2013 tax year. The guidelines provide several factors to consider when determining whether land is woodland and is therefore devoted to an agricultural use under Indiana Code § 6-1.1-4-13(a). The Indiana Board did not act contrary to law when it analyzed these very factors to determine that the Chavezes’ 2.72 acres were devoted to an agricultural use.

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Opinions Jan. 29, 2016

January 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kimberly Y. Morgan v. State of Indiana
34A05-1509-CR-1323
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part restitution order. The trial court properly concluded Morgan must pay restitution to Selective Insurance, but to the extent the order provides for the amount to the Visitors Commission in excess of its $250 deductible is an abuse of discretion. Remands with instructions for the court to enter a restitution order for the payment of $11,455.48 to Selective Insurance and $250 to the commission.

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Opinions Jan. 28, 2016

January 28, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Terry Joe Smith
14-3744, 14-3721
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge William Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of excessive force against two individuals who were in police custody. Vacates 14-month sentence followed by two years of supervised release after finding the sentence to be light in comparison to similar cases. The judge was also required to give the entire sentence orally. Remands for full resentencing.
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Opinions Jan. 27, 2016

January 27, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re the Marriage of: Courtney Carr v. Beth E. Carr
03A01-1505-DR-436
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part dissolution order. The survivor benefit plan feature of Courtney Carr’s military pension should have been counted as a marital asset. Remands with instructions to count the survivor benefit plan as a marital asset and either make findings justifying a 65/35 split in favor of wife or reallocate the marital assets in accordance with the 60/40 split previously determined by the trial court.
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Opinions Jan. 26, 2016

January 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jerry E. Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
27A02-1507-CR-793
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.  
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Opinions Jan. 25, 2016

January 25, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Shane Keller v. State of Indiana
88S04-1506-CR-354
Criminal. Reverses the two convictions of Class B felony burglary for breaking and entering into a farmhouse. Remands for entry of two replacement convictions for burglary as Class C felonies and for resentencing accordingly. Finds the jury instructions which included language from a Court of Appeals decision erroneously expanded the statutory definition of “dwelling.” Justice Massa dissents, joined by Chief Justice Rush.
 

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Opinions Jan. 22, 2016

January 22, 2016
The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Antonio Garcia v. State of Indiana
49S05-1505-CR-335
Criminal. Affirms denial of Garcia’s motion to suppress the admission of a pill container found during a quick pat-down search following a lawful arrest. Opening the pill container, which had one narcotic pill for which Garcia did not have a valid prescription, during the course of the pat-down search incident to his arrest for driving without a valid driver’s license was a reasonable search under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions Jan. 21, 2016

January 21, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Kastin E. Slaybaugh v. State of Indiana
79S02-1601-CR-28
Criminal. Grants transfer to expressly adopt and incorporate by reference the Court of Appeals opinion in which it affirmed the denial of Slaybaugh’s motion for a mistrial. He alleged juror misconduct because a juror who had denied knowing the victim or her family was a “Facebook” friend with a relative of the victim. The juror testified she was a Realtor and had many “Facebook” friends for networking purposes and did not know the victim or her family, which the trial court accepted she was being truthful.
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Opinions Jan. 20, 2016

January 20, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and Indiana State Board of Dentistry v. Irfan A. Atcha, D.D.S.
49A02-1504-MI-197
Miscellaneous. Affirms in part and reverses in part the trial court’s finding that three dental advertising regulations are unconstitutional. The state properly restricted Dr. Atcha’s false and misleading claims implying he had a particular dental specialty and could provide better materials or superior service than other dentists. But the state may not compel a dentist to list on his advertisements every dentist in his practice. Remands for the board to reassess the penalty in light of this decision.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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

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