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Opinions Aug. 19, 2013

August 19, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.

In Re the Matter of the Adoption of Minor Children; C.B.M. and C.R.M.: C.A.B. v. J.D.M. and K.L.M.
37S03-1303-AD-159
Adoption. Reverses trial court’s denial of mother’s motion to set aside the adoption of her children, C.B.M. and C.R.M. and remands with instructions to vacate the adoption decree. Rules the adoption was based solely on a termination of parental rights judgment against the mother. When the termination judgment was overturned on appeal, the mother then became entitled to having the adoption voided under Trial Rule 60(B)(7). States the reversal may have been avoided altogether, if the adoptive parents had done more than the bare minimum required by law and notified the mother of the adoption proceedings. The mother would have then been given the opportunity to appear in court and be heard.  

Indiana Court of Appeals
Derik A. Blocker and Tammi Blocker v. U.S. Bank National Association as Trustee for the Certificateholders Citigroup Mortgage Loan Trust Inc. Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificate Series 2007-AHL3
45A03-1211-MF-479
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment to U.S. Bank, holding that no issues of material fact exist, and discards arguments that appeared to stem from “Redemptionist” movement theory claiming that debts could be settled through claims made to the United States Treasury.  

Ryan A. Osowski v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A04-1211-CR-570
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of 34 years for conviction of three counts of Class B felony child molesting.

Wayne A. Wasson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

02A03-1212-CR-530
Criminal. Affirms 31 1/2-year sentence for conviction of one count of Class A felony child molesting, two counts of Class C felony child molesting, three counts of Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one count Class D felony sexual battery. Remands for proper assessment of fees.

Waldo Lynn Jones, Jr., v. State of Indiana (NFP)

16A04-1301-CR-12
Criminal. Affirms 65-year executed sentence for conviction of murder.

Jerry Corbier and Stephanie Corbier v. William B. Nourse and Teresa L. Nourse (NFP)
29A04-1210-SC-545
Small claims. Affirms small claims court judgment in favor of William and Teresa Nourse and award of attorney’s fees in their favor.

Yoni Solis v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1212-CR-971
Criminal. Affirms 70-year executed sentence for conviction of four counts of Class A felony child molesting and three counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Mark A. Cook v. State of Indiana (NFP)
88A01-1210-CR-468
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted child molesting and Class C felony child molesting.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: X.M., Minor Child, A.B., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
29A02-1212-JT-961
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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