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Opinions April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013
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The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Kooshtard Property VIII, LLC v. Shelby County Assessor
49T10-1011-TA-58
Tax. The Indiana Board of Tax Review correctly found that Kooshtard failed to establish a prima facie case that its land was overassessed. Kooshtard offered nothing more than conclusory statements and previously rejected arguments in challenging the propriety of its land assessments.

Tuesday’s opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v. Robert Holland

45A04-1202-PL-53
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment on Holland’s quiet title action and remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in Countrywide’s favor. Affirms dismissal of Holland’s common-law lien claim and remands with instructions to vacate the award of nominal damages. Holland is not entitled to summary judgment on the merits of his quiet title claim.

Vincennes University by the Board of Trustees of Vincennes v. Daniel E. Sparks
42A01-1206-PL-248
Civil plenary. Reverses jury verdict in Sparks’ favor on his lawsuit filed after the university did not renew his contract. There is no genuine issue of material fact, the designated evidence indicates that Sparks was not guaranteed employment with the university, and summary judgment should have been granted for the school.

Glenn Parker, As Trustee Under the Revocable Declaration of Trust Agreement of Glenn Parker, Individually and Phyllis C. Parker, Individually v. Obert's Legacy Dairy, LLC
26A05-1209-PL-450
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the dairy on the Parkers’ nuisance claim. The Indiana Right to Farm Act bars their nuisance claim.

Ruben Pazmino v. Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP

49A02-1206-CC-499
Civil collections. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Bose McKinney & Evans in the amount of $11,174.20 for work the firm did for Pazmino. There is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Pazmino was acting on his own behalf or on behalf of Buena Vista Realty Group when he sought the firm’s services. Neither party is entitled to summary judgment at this time. Remands for further proceedings.

Kendall Johnson v. State of Indiana
49A02-1209-CR-755
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentences for murder and Class C felony battery. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to instruct the jury on reckless homicide because the evidence did not support such an instruction. Finds sentence is appropriate.

John A. Hutchinson v. The City of Madison
39A01-1208-CC-394
Civil collections. Affirms dismissal without prejudice of the counterclaim for appropriation of a portion of Hutchinson’s real estate filed by the city of Madison, and affirms determination that an interlocal agreement between the city and Jefferson County was valid. Hutchinson could not establish that the city did not have the authority to acquire his property through eminent domain proceedings generally.

Phillip J. Troyer v. Tracy L. Troyer
02A03-1207-DR-319
Domestic relation. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in valuing and dividing the marital estate; the trial court exceeded its statutory authority in retroactively increasing the husband’s child support and healthcare expenses; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying husband’s petition for attorney fees; the trial court did fail to rule on husband’s request for wife to reimburse him for her share of K.T.’s private school expenses; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding the parties joint legal custody of K.T.; and husband’s appeal is neither frivolous nor in bad faith, and therefore wife is not entitled to attorney fees pursuant to Appellate Rule 66(E). Judge Kirsch dissented in part.

In the Matter of: R.S. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services, and S.S. (Mother) & B.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services

02A05-1208-JC-422
Juvenile. Reverses determination infant R.S. is a child in need of services. There is insufficient evidence to support the determination.

Natural Resources Defense Council v. Poet Biorefining-North Manchester, LLC; Poet Biorefining-Cloverdale, LLC; Central Indiana Ethanol, Inc., et al.
49A02-1205-MI-423
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court reversal of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Environmental Adjudication’s determination that fuel-grade ethanol production plants should have been categorized as “chemical process plants.” The state could not properly exclude these plants from the category of “chemical process plants” without Environmental Protection Agency approval of a modification to the Indiana State Implementation Plan. Ethanol plants remain “chemical process plants.”

John Gresser and Janice Gresser, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Company, Inc.; Dowelanco n/k/a Dow Agrosciences LLC; and Reliable Exterminators, Inc.
79A02-1111-CT-1014
Civil tort. The trial court correctly granted Dow’s summary judgment motion on the Gressers’ failure to warn claims under the Indiana Product Liability Act. The trial court erred in denying Dow’s related summary judgment motion on the Gressers’ failure to satisfy IPLA requirements. The trial court improvidently granted Dow’s summary judgment motion pertaining to federal preemption. The trial court correctly denied Reliable’s motion to exclude the Gressers’ expert witnesses. The trial court also correctly denied Reliable’s summary judgment motions pertaining to the Gressers’ negligence claims and to the possibility of a punitive damage award. The trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of Reliable on the issue of federal preemption. Remands for further proceedings.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of R.R. and T.R.; R.R. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)

52A02-1208-JT-665
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Juan Murillo Bravo v. Silvia Bravo and Rancho Bravo, Inc. (NFP)
54A04-1207-PL-385
Civil plenary. Affirms award of attorney fees to Silvia Bravo and Rancho Bravo Inc. as a result of a discovery dispute. Remands with instructions to determine Rancho Bravo’s reasonable appellate attorney fees and to order Juan Murillo Bravo to pay that amount.

John F. Girvin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A01-1208-CR-381
Criminal. Remands for trial court to vacate Girvin’s conviction for vicarious sexual gratification because of double jeopardy and to revise his sentence with respect to credit time. Affirms in all other repsects.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of A.S.: K.S. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
29A02-1210-JT-824
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Jerry D. Boyce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A01-1210-CR-453
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony battery by bodily waste, Class A misdemeanor battery and Class B misdemeanor battery.

Edward Lay v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A05-1208-CR-387
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and 140-year sentence.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.C., a/k/a R.L., and A.L., Minor Children; S.L., Father v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1207-JT-585
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Nelson Rios v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1209-CR-756
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Joshua D. Gaunt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1210-CR-847
Criminal. Affirms sentence following plea agreement to Class C felony aiding, inducing or causing burglary; the Probation Condition 18 is not impermissibly vague; and the order Gaunt pay $300 in public defender fees. Remands with instructions to amend restitution order such that there is no duplicate recovery and establish a payment plan or schedule.

Donna Chapman and Lora Hoagland v. Central Indiana Educational Service Center and Franklin Township Community School Corporation (NFP)
49A05-1209-PL-478
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Chapman’s claim against CIESC for failure to state a claim.

Douglas R. Bartel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A05-1207-CR-349
Criminal. Dismisses Bartel’s belated appeal from the revocation of his probation in two causes; finds he did not receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel in another cause. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operation of a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic offender and the sentence in all respects.

Allstate Insurance Company, As Subrogee of Juan R. Lopez, III v. Brenda J. Faulkner (NFP)
49A05-1211-CT-550
Civil tort. Reverses partial grant of Faulkner’s motion for relief from judgment.

Shawn E. Voorhies v. State of Indiana (NFP)

32A05-1208-CR-408
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A felony burglary resulting in serious bodily injury.

In the Matter of the Guardianship of the Person of H.M., S.M.M. and M.M., and S.E.M. v. D.L.M. and In the Matter of the Paternity of H.M., S.E.M. v. D.L.M. (NFP)
45A03-1208-GU-374
Guardianship. Affirms temporary order of child support, which ordered D.L.M., H.M.’s father, to pay guardians $158.88 per week. Remands with instructions that the trial court unify this case within one magistrate’s court to clarify father’s child support obligation pursuant to a completed and signed child support obligation worksheet and issue the orders it deems appropriate.

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: D.P. v. Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center (NFP)
49A02-1210-MH-807
Mental health. Affirms temporary commitment for mental health reasons.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana 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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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