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Opinions April 21, 2011

April 21, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Tom George, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
94S00-1010-CQ-544
Certified question. The NCAA’s ticket-allocation process for championship sporting events – only refunding the face value and not a handling fee to unsuccessful applicants – is not an illegal lottery under Indiana law because no prize was awarded to those applicants who received the opportunity to purchase tickets. Where an event coordinator creates the primary market for event tickets, the fair-market value of the tickets is equal to their face value and there is no “prize.”  

Bradley J. Love v. Robert Rehfus, et al.
30S01-1004-CV-162
Civil. Reverses in whole the order granting summary judgment for the defendants and remands for proceedings consistent with the opinion. The email that firefighter Love sent was constitutionally protected speech under the test set forth in Pickering and its progeny, and there are genuine issues of material fact that must be resolved in order to determine whether the township is liable for the fire chief’s actions. Fire Chief Rehfus fired Love because he believed the private email – which supported a political candidate – contained false statements of fact.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Rebecca D. Kays v. State of Indiana
42A05-1007-CR-504
Criminal. Reverses order Kays pay restitution as part of her probation for Class B misdemeanor battery. The trial court didn’t adequately inquire into her ability to pay or the manner in which she was to pay. On remand, the trial court should revisit the documentation, if it exists, submitted as to the victim’s damages and determine whether the amount of restitution ordered reflects the amount actually paid by the victim.

Michael L. Alexander v. State of Indiana
71A04-1006-CR-372
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony operating a motor vehicle after a lifetime suspension of driving privileges. Police inspection of BMV records doesn’t implicate the Fourth Amendment, so the police stop of Alexander based on the information in his driver’s record was permissible.

Charles R. Bilyeu v. Frani Bilyeu (NFP)
06A05-1006-DR-356
Domestic relation. Reverses order that Charles Bilyeu pay the attorney fees of his wife upon the dissolution of their marriage. Remands with instructions.

Scott F. Carbary v. Shawn Miller d/b/a SignificantCars.com (NFP)
49A02-1005-PL-582
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Shawn Miller on Miller’s suit to collect a commission. Awards Miller appellate attorney fees and remands for determination of the appellate attorney fees award.

A.C., et al., Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; D.B. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
49A05-1002-JC-154
Juvenile. Grants rehearing to clarify why In Re M.R. is distinguishable, directs the juvenile court to amend the participation degree, and affirms original opinion in all other respects.

Stephen C. Wood v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A01-1009-CR-515
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine.

S.T.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
47A05-1009-JV-558
Juvenile. Affirms finding S.T.S. is a juvenile delinquent for committing what would be Class C felony burglary if committed by an adult.

Travis S. Chandler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A04-1009-CR-574
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony battery on a law enforcement officer resulting in bodily injury and one count of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Eric A. Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
65A01-1008-CR-389
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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