ILNews

Opinions April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Randall Woodruff, trustee, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, on behalf of Legacy Healthcare Inc. v. Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning
29A02-1002-PL-220
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the Family and Social Services Administration on New Horizon Development Center’s $4 million quantum meruit claim. Once a provider with a long-term care facility has been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, FSSA, as the state Medicaid agency, has the primary responsibility for relocating the Medicaid patients and for ensuring their safe and orderly transfer from the old facility. FSSA is also responsible for the care and services provided to these patients during the transfer process and the costs it incurred in operating the receivership. Directs that summary judgment be entered in favor of New Horizon.

Sheila Rudolph, et al. v. Roberta L. Ross, et al. (NFP)
49A02-1007-PL-754
Civil plenary. Affirms partial summary judgment for the Law Group of Ross and Brunner, and attorneys Roberta Ross and Darrolyn Ross in Rudolph and others suit alleging the attorneys improperly retained more than their share as compensation for legal services.

Jesse B. Scarsbrook v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1009-CR-1109
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections.

James A. Watson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1005-CR-297
Criminal. Reverses calculation of credit for the time Watson served prior to the revocation of his probation and remands with instructions.

Think Tank Software Dev., et al. v. Chester, Inc., et al. (NFP)
64A03-1003-PL-172
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment on the basis that the covenant not to compete was overbroad, on the propriety of the confidentiality clause, and on the tortious interference with a contract issue. Affirms summary judgment on the other remaining issues. Remands for further proceedings consistent with the opinion.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court had granted four transfers and denied 33 for the week ending April 8.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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