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Opinions Aug. 22, 2011

August 22, 2011
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The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Indiana Tax Court
Virginia Garwood, et al. v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue
82T10-0906-TA-29
Tax. Grants summary judgment for the Garwoods and denies the Indiana Department of State Revenue’s motion for summary judgment. Holds that the 16 jeopardy assessments issued against the Garwoods for all or part of the 2007 through 2009 tax years are void as a matter of law. The department’s use of the jeopardy assessment procedure against the Garwoods exceeded statutory authority. Orders the department to void all of the jeopardy assessments and take any other actions necessary to give full effect to the order.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no opinions from Indiana courts at IL deadline.


Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Smith Barney, et al. v. StoneMor Operating LLC, et al.
41A04-1103-MF-96
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms denial of Barney’s motion to compel arbitration. As a matter of law, Independence Trust was not a “successor in interest” to either of the prior trustees and therefore isn’t bound by the arbitration clause in the account agreements. Consequently, there is no basis for compelling StoneMor to arbitrate its claims.

Dennis Perry v. State of Indiana
49A05-1012-CR-774
Criminal. Perry’s ex-girlfriend’s material statements detailing her physical attack and identifying her attacker were admissible pursuant to the medical diagnosis exception to the hearsay rule. Her statements were nontestimonial and did not implicate Perry’s confrontation rights. The trial court erred by admitting prior misconduct evidence involving Perry and the victim and this error warrants reversal and a new trial.  

Robbie J. Bex v. State of Indiana
53A01-1008-CR-422
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated endangering a person. There is no federal constitutional bar to a defendant’s waiver of the presence and participation of one of the six jurors in a criminal trial. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by imposing the public defender fee as a condition of probation without holding a hearing on Bex’s ability to pay because the fees weren’t due until after she completed the executed portion of her sentence. Senior Judge Sullivan dissents in part.

Marc Van Rowland v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1010-CR-1161
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony attempted burglary, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and an attendant adjudication of being a habitual offender.

Garry Coleman v. Department of Local Government Finance (NFP)
49A02-1101-MI-40
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of wrongful termination complaint.

A.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-JV-142
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court accepted five cases on transfer and denied 37 for the week ending Aug. 19, 2011.
 

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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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