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Opinions Aug. 7, 2012

August 7, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Warrick County, Indiana, A Political Subdivision, by and through its County Commissioners, Nova Conner, Don Williams, and Phillip Baxter, and Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. William Hill and Stacy Hill
87A01-1201-PL-8
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of summary judgment for Warrick County in an action brought against it and Cincinnati Insurance Co. by William and Stacy Hill. Agrees with trial court conclusion that the Hills filed their notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act within 180 days and that the Hills did not discover the source of the damage to their home until 2007, so the claims are within the six-year statute of limitations on actions for injury to property other than personal property.

Matthew Manuel v. State of Indiana
49A02-1112-CR-1135
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery following a bench trial. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it did not allow Manuel to cross-examine his live-in girlfriend about a 2005 domestic battery charge or when it allowed the state to ask D.S. whether she had testified truthfully. The state produced sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Dean V. Kruse Foundation, Inc., Dean Kruse and Kruse International v. Jerry W. Gates
59A05-1201-CT-37
Civil tort. Reverses judgment that the forfeiture provision in the purchase agreement between Kruse and Gates constituted a liquid damages clause. Finds the provision in this agreement indicates an intent to penalize the purchaser for a breach rather and an intent to compensate the seller in the event of a breach, which support interpreting it as a penalty rather than one providing for liquidated damages. Remands with instructions for the trial court to calculate the measure of damages as a result of Gates’ breach of contract.

James E. Corry and Gayle Corry v. Steve Jahn, Woodland Homes of Ft. Wayne, LLC, Scott R. Malcolm, Oakmont Development Co. LLC, and Mike Thomas Associates/F.C. Tucker, Inc.
02A03-1107-PL-323
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment to Oakmont and Mike Thomas Associates/F.C. Tucker on the Corrys’ suit for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of warranty, negligence, and fraud; affirms denial of the Corrys’ motion to correct error and the entry of judgment upon the partial summary judgment order. Oakmont and MTA were not parties to the contract litigation at issue in this litigation and the trial court property declined to impose an implied warrant of habitability on Oakmont and MTA where the builder was the entity best positioned to prevent the harm.

Naveed Gulzar v. State of Indiana
20A03-1202-PC-88
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief. Gulzar claimed that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advise him that automatic deportation was a consequence of his pleading guilty to theft. He failed to demonstrate prejudice as a result of his attorney’s lack of advisement.

Darrell Lawrence v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1110-CR-938
Criminal. Dismisses state’s cross-appeal of dismissal of Class B felony possession of cocaine, reverses one conviction of resisting law enforcement by force and remands to the trial court.

Raymon Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery on a law enforcement officer resulting in bodily injury in one case and the revocation of probation in another case because of the commission of this crime.

In re the Marriage of: Dennis Coffman v. Jennifer Coffman (NFP)
31A01-1110-DR-488
Domestic relation. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in excluding the debts resulting from the loans from Dennis Coffman’s parents from the marital estate, and when the court failed to take into account his post-separation payments of an insurance settlement to Jennifer Coffman. Affirms distribution of the parties’ personal property. Remands with instructions.

Kevin K. Cotton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A05-1111-CR-641
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Dustin L. Bess v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1112-CR-701
Criminal. Affirms 45-year sentence for Class A felony burglary.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of X.B. and L.B. (Minor Children) and J.B. (Father) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
71A03-1201-JT-26
Juvenile termination. Affirms termination of parental rights.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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