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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. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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