Opinions Dec. 11, 2014

December 11, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin L. Harold v. Christopher C. Steel and Peters & Steel LLC
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Harold’s lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, contending Steel and his law firm had violated 15 U.S.C. Section 1692e by making false statements. Harold sought to challenge a garnishment order entered in state court. The Rooker-Feldmen doctrine bars his lawsuit.

Opinions Dec. 10, 2014

December 10, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeal
Robert D. DeLee v. City of Plymouth, Indiana
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the city on police officer DeLee’s lawsuit that he is entitled to his full longevity payment from the city for the year he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for eight months. Plymouth’s longevity benefit is more appropriately characterized as a reward for lengthy service rather than as compensation for work performed the preceding year, so the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act guarantees DeLee a fully longevity payment for his 12th year of employment. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Oct. 9, 2014

December 9, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kolyann Williams v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor marijuana possession stemming from a traffic stop. Concludes the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to believe that Williams had committed an infraction that supported stopping his car.

Opinions Dec. 8, 2014

December 8, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Randal L. Young v. Indiana Department of Correction, Bruce Lemmon, David J. Donahue, Stanley Knight, et al.
Miscellaneous. Affirms the DOC’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates, which says the credit time sought must be credit time that was deprived during the offender’s current sentence. The policy does not result in disparate treatment and does not unconstitutionally discriminate against offenders who are ordered to serve consecutive sentences.

Opinions Dec. 5, 2014

December 5, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of the Adoption of Minor Children: J.T.D. and J.S.: Ind. Dept. of Child Services v. N.E.
Adoption. Reverses trial court decision to not transfer cases from the civil division, which includes probate, to the juvenile division, which is where adoptions must be filed based on a local rule. Lake Superior Court’s four statutory divisions are not jurisdictional, and are merely descriptive of venue, so there is no conflict between the statute and the caseload allocation plan. Remands with instructions.

Opinions Dec. 4, 2014

December 4, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re: The Carroll County 2013 Tax Sale: Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District v. Richard C. Ray and Patricia A. Alford, et al.
Miscellaneous. The lien foreclosure prohibition of Indiana Code 13-26-14-4, governing the collection of regional sewer district sewer liens, does not apply to collection by tax sale. Here, because the sewer district employed the tax sale method and did not seek collection of the appellees' unpaid sewer bills and penalties through the lien foreclosure method, the lien foreclosure prohibition clause does not apply. The judgment of the trial court removing the Ray and Alford properties from the tax sale list is reversed, and this cause is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Opinions Dec. 3, 2014

December 3, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
S.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult.


Opinions Dec. 2, 2014

December 2, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Emily Herx v. Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, Inc. and St. Vincent de Paul School
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division.
Judge Robert Miller Jr.
Civil. Grants Emily Herx’s motion to dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction. Rejects the argument from the diocese for a collateral-order review, finding the church’s interest will not be irreparably harmed by waiting for the District Court to issue a final judgment.

Opinions Dec. 1, 2014

December 1, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. William Boswell
Appeals from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 235-month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The admission of evidence that Boswell had a gun tattoo on his neck was not an abuse of discretion because it served to impeach his testimony, and the sentence under the ACCA did not have to be alleged in the indictment.

Opinions Nov. 26, 2014

November 26, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Crystal Valley Sales Inc., Charles Kline, and Nancy Kline v. Jonathan Anderson, National Sales Company Inc., Rodger Anderson, Camco Manufacturing, and Norm Geible
Civil Plenary. Affirmed trial court’s dismissal of civil conspiracy claims against National Sales Company Inc., Rodger Anderson, Camco Manufacturing Inc. and Norm Geible for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Finds Crystal Valley did not provide sufficient facts to show that the co-defendants engaged in unlawful actions. Rejects Crystal Valley’s argument that its civil conspiracy count is sufficient by itself to claim the co-defendants helped Jonathan breach his contractual or fiduciary duties.

Opinions Nov. 25, 2014

November 25, 2014

Opinions Nov. 24, 2014

November 24, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Antonio Smith v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class C felony burglary, finding the state knowingly proffered perjured testimony from a witness who had previously pleaded guilty to the break-in of a Dollar General store that Smith also was charged with. The state had a duty to correct perjured testimony and should have joined in the defense’s request for a mistrial. The court referred the case to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission with a caution: “We also note that instances of prosecutorial misbehavior continue to come before us on appeal notwithstanding our admonishments.”

Opinions Nov. 21, 2014

November 21, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Deriq Watters v. State of Indiana
Criminal.  Reverses revocation of probation. The evidence used to revoke Watters’ probation was inadmissible.

Opinions Nov. 20, 2014

November 20, 2014
Indiana Tax Court
The City of Greenfield and the Greenfield Fire Protection Territory v. The Ind. Dep't of Local Government Finance
Tax.  Reverses reduction by the Department of Local Government Finance of the Greenfield Fire Protection Territory’s general fund levy for the 2012 budget year. Public Law 172-2011, Section 164 contravenes the special legislation provisions set forth in Article 4, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution.

Opinions Nov. 19, 2014

November 19, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Sharon Handy v. P.C, Building Materials, Inc., PC Properties, LLC, David A. Stemler, and Karen L. Stemler
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of P.C. Building Materials and other defendants on Handy’s negligence claim. There are genuine issues of material fact that remain for a determination by a jury. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions Nov. 18, 2014

November 18, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of E.P. III and E.P. Jr. (Father) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services
Juvenile. Affirms father’s termination of parental rights. Father did not object to the same judge who presided in his Class B felony child molesting and neglect convictions presiding in his termination of parental rights proceedings, therefore the argument first raised on appeal is waived. There also was sufficient evidence to support the termination of parental rights.

Opinions Nov. 17, 2014

November 17, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Walter Penner Trust Under Agreement Created by the Grantor, Walter Penner on April 13, 2010, Stanley Penner v. Ronald Penner
Trust. Affirms trial court’s denial of Stanley Penner’s Petition for Trustee’s Accounting, for Order to Sell Real Estate, and Related Matters. Also affirmed trial court’s order that Stanley pay $13,166 in attorney fees to the Penner Trust. Remands for the trial court to determine and order Stanley to pay the appellate attorney fees for the trust. Finds Ronald did not breach the trust. The language of the trust is unambiguous and, therefore, overrides the state statutes that require trusts to provide access to an accounting. 

Opinions Nov. 14, 2014

November 14, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy W. Paul v. Stone Artisans, Ltd.
Civil plenary. Affirms finding that Paul breached his contract with Stone Artisans. Finds that although the contact did not include measurements, the contract is still enforceable because it is reasonably certain in the terms and conditions. Also rules the contract did comply with the Home Improvement Contract Act despite missing two of the required nine elements.

Opinions Nov. 13, 2014

November 13, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Evelyn Rivera Borrero, et al.

13-3430, 13-3468, 13-3516, 13-3517, 13-3559
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Reverses convictions of conspiring to violate 8 U.S.C. Section 1324 (a)(1)(A)(iii) and (iv) by shielding unauthorized aliens from detection and encouraging them to live in the United States; and vacates convictions of conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud. Remands for entry of acquittal on the first count. The government’s legal argument that vehicle tiles and license plates are “property” from the perspective of Indiana is a legal error.

Opinions Nov. 12, 2014

November 12, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Z. Hayden v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms sufficient evidence to convict Hayden of burglary, theft and residential entry. Remands with instructions to vacate guilty verdict on residential entry as it is a lesser-included offense of burglary and to clarify the entry of judgment as to whether to enter judgment and sentence on the theft conviction or to vacate the jury’s guilty verdict.

Opinions Nov. 11, 2014

November 11, 2014
All courts are closed Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

Opinions Nov. 10, 2014

November 10, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christa Allen v. Richard Hinchman, M.D.; Richard Tanner, M.D.; and Jeffery Smith, M.D.
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the doctors on Allen’s medical malpractice claim. Holds that the standard of care for doctors practicing in prisons is the same as the standard of care for doctors practicing outside of prison.

Opinions Nov. 7, 2014

November 7, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General and Rick J. Ruble, Commissioner of the In. Dept. of Labor v. James M. Sweeney, David A. Fagan, Charles Severs et. al.
Civil plenary. Reverses finding by Lake Superior Court that I.C. 22-6-6-8 and 22-6-6-10 violate Article I, Section 21 of the Indiana Constitution. Any compulsion to provide services does not constitute a demand made by the state. Justice Rucker concurs in result with separate opinion.

Opinions Nov. 6, 2014

November 6, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Victor Keeylen v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms original opinion in all respects. Clarifies point from original opinion and still holds that it is unlikely the detective attempted to mislead the judicial officer into issuing the search warrant.

Opinions Nov. 5, 2014

November 5, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Erie Insurance Exchange v. Troy Sams and Teresa Sams
Civil tort. Affirms judgment ordering Erie Insurance to pay the Samses $63,924.89 for losses they suffered after a storm damaged their home. The trial court did not err in finding the policy covered the storm damage to the home and the judgment amount was not clearly erroneous.
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  1. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  2. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: https://web0.memphis.edu/law/currentstudents/mentalhealthjournal/1-2-203-Bird.pdf Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  3. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  4. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?

  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."