Opinions April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013
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The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was issued Friday after IL deadline.
Washington Township Assessor, Allen County Assessor, and Allen County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals v. Verizon Data Services, Inc. (NFP)
Tax. Denies Verizon’s motion to dismiss the assessors’ appeal of an Indiana Board of Tax Review final determination of summary judgment in favor of Verizon’s 2005 personal property tax assessment appeal.

Monday's opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lorenzo Reid and Larry Blake, a/k/a Larry Reid v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction relief. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from a 55-year sentence for Reid and a 44-year sentence for Blake, who were convicted in the 1990 murder and attempted robbery of a Richmond liquor store owner. The court ruled that the two were not denied due process when they were denied during post-conviction relief potentially exculpatory DNA evidence that was presented at trial and later lost or destroyed, and that they were not denied due process due to lack of effective assistance of counsel or by the state’s failure to disclose that a witness had a possible prior robbery conviction.  

Halden Martin v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses and remands a conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A toxicology department witness’s repeated failure to appear for scheduled depositions was a delay attributable to the state, the court ruled, finding that the delay caused a trial 476 days after Martin’s arrest, in violation of Criminal Rule 4(C).

Detona Sargent and One 1996 Buick, VIN 1G4AG55M3T6449095 v. State of Indiana, the Consolidated City of Indianapolis/Marion County, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Miscellaneous.  Affirms the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for the defendants, holding that a sufficient nexus was demonstrated between the underlying crime and the seized vehicle, and that neither Indiana’s bankruptcy exemptions nor Article I, Section 22 of the Indiana Constitution required the trial court to exempt Sargent’s 1996 Buick from forfeiture.

Darryl Shepherd v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reaffirms on rehearing a prior ruling that affirmed a conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, holding that Shepherd raises a defense for the first time on appeal. The argument was therefore waived, and even if it hadn’t been, the SVF conviction was based on a 1993 conviction of dealing cocaine, and a habitual offender enhancement was applied to different 1991 and 2008 convictions.

Adolfo Lopez v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses and remands as excessive the trial court setting bond at $3 million surety plus $250,000 cash for restaurateur Adolfo Lopez on Class C felony charges of corrupt business influence, conspiracy to commit corrupt business influence, and four counts of forgery, and four counts of Class D felony perjury. Orders the trial court to set a reasonable bond based on relevant statutory factors.  

Kevin Perry v. Unemployment Insurance Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development UI Claims Adjudication Center
Civil. Affirms the decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development removing Perry from the Trade Adjustment Assistance training program. The Court of Appeals found Perry deviated from his approved education plan when he took online courses without prior approval.

Gary Hammerstone, Susan Hammerstone, Palmor Products, Inc., Northhampton Farm Bureau Cooperative Association, and Canns-Bilco Distributors, Inc. v. Indiana Insurance Company
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s order granting summary judgment to Indiana Insurance Co., and remands for further proceedings. The court found that language in the umbrella policy defining “products-completed operations hazard” as “bodily injury” and “property damage” and contrary language in the endorsement stating the insurance does not apply do “bodily injury” or “property damage” rendered the umbrella policy as “inherently ambiguous.”

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of S.B.: U.D. and L.B. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Chad Lindstrom v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Jason Neal v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.15 percent.

Franklin Allen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school property.

Terrell Van Causey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug; one count of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance; and one Class A misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana, hash oil or hashish.

In the Matter of C.C., Child in Need of Services; C.C. (Father) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of C.C. as a child in need of services.

Theodore Fuentes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony residential entry.

Tariq Qureshi and Mehnaz Qureshi v. Richard E. Coulter, Cox/Hammond Realty Group, and Darrell Cox (NFP)
Small claims. Affirms trial court ruling in favor of defendants in a lawsuit involving a failed real estate deal.

Evia Jane Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court revocation of probation.

Samantha Richey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor conviction of criminal recklessness.

Patrick Wiese v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence obtained from Wiese’s apartment when police responded to a report of a disturbance.

John C. Kincade, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court sentence of seven years in prison, with three years executed and the remaining suspended to probation, for convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation.  

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions Monday by IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions Monday by IL deadline.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.