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Opinions April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Johnnie C. Collins
12-3317
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence in drug case in which Collins entered a conditional plea of guilty to possession of crack with intent to distribute and possession of powder cocaine with intent to distribute.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Casey Walker v. State of Indiana
76A04-1204-CR-207
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony manufacturing methamphetamine and 30-year sentence. Walker has failed to establish that his mother was incompetent to give consent to search the residence. Moreover, there was undisputed testimony at trial that Walker’s wife gave verbal consent to search the residence, and Walker points to no evidence that he explicitly told the police that they could not enter his residence. Finds the police had consent to search the residence, and the trial court did not err by admitting the evidence.

TPUSA, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development
93A02-1207-EX-605
Agency action. Reverses the liability administrative law judge’s determination that TPUSA owes $125,666.33 to the Department of Workforce Development in unemployment insurance contributions, interest and penalties for 2010 when TPUSA had no employees in Indiana and paid no wages here. Holds that where an employer has ceased business operations in Indiana, no longer pays wages or has any employees in the state, and files accurate reports with the Department indicating such, this may be considered “reasonable cause,” as required by Indiana Code 22-4-11-4(b), so as to allow for an adjustment (i.e., reduction) in the amount of the estimated contribution. Remands for a $200 fine to be imposed.

William Wressell v. R.L. Turner Corporation
06A01-1301-PL-5
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of R.L. Turner Corp. on Wressell’s lawsuit claiming he was significantly underpaid for his work on two public works projects. RLTC is not entitled to attorney fees. The trial court abused its discretion in striking paragraphs 12-18 of Morrhead’s affidavit regarding fringe benefits. The designated evidence generates a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether some of Wressell’s work for RLTC was as a skilled carpenter or skilled laborer and on the question of payment of fringe benefits.

J.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1209-JV-490
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of Class D felony resisting law enforcement if committed by an adult.

Tory Simmers v. United Farm Family Mutual Insurance Company (NFP)
17A04-1211-CT-577
Civil tort. Affirms insurer is entitled to $5,000 set off and summary judgment.

Scott Miller v. State of Indiana (NFP)

44A05-1207-PC-376
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Tyronne J. Noel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

87A01-1211-CR-525
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor reckless driving for passing a stopped school bus.

Maximilian Spiegel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1208-CR-687
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting.

Mark Vickery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1209-CR-740
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Timothy J. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1209-PC-476
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jane M. Burkart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A03-1211-CR-465
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation for failure to pay restitution.

Maura Leonard v. David Leonard (NFP)
49A04-1208-DR-439
Domestic relation. Affirms property distribution order in dissolution of marriage. The trial court erred in awarding the vehicle to the parties’ adult child and $4,000 in cash should have been included in the marital estate, but those errors were harmless. Declines to set aside dissolution decree.

Jevante Lancaster v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1208-CR-635
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and placement in Marion County Criminal Corrections.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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