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Opinions Aug. 22, 2013

August 22, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Roger A. Buchanan and Susan Buchanan v. HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc.
39A01-1211-MF-515
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of HSBC Mortgage Services, holding that even if a mortgage was not properly acknowledged, the Buchanans don’t deny that they executed a mortgage and note when they purchased their home, on which they stopped making mortgage payments in 2007. The Buchanans’ arguments therefore are without merit.

Dianne M. Ross, William L. Ross, Martha Jane Milhouse and Paul David Milhouse v. Bartholomew County Drainage Board and Stephen A. Hoevener, Jim Pence, Ron Speaker, Jeff Schroer, and Carl Lienhoop
03A01-1210-PL-489
Civil plenary. Affirms ruling that a berm constructed by the Rosses and the Milhouses did impede the draining of a natural surface watercourse and should be removed. Also affirms the reduction of attorney fees related to a violation of Indiana’s Open Door Law, finding the petitioners included reimbursements for work done outside the Open Door Law claim.

Alexander David Toradze v. Susan Blake Toradze
71A05-1212-DR-623
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s denial of Alexander Toradze’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Father is contesting his ex-wife’s petition to a modify child support order to include college expenses. Finds the court does have jurisdiction because recent amendments to the termination of child support and emancipation statute entitle Susan Toradze to file a petition. In a concurring opinion, Judge Elaine Brown concludes the trial court had personal and subject matter jurisdiction.    

Jeremiah Walls v. State of Indiana
55A05-1211-CR-603
Criminal. Affirms conviction and three-year sentence on two counts of Class D felony intimidation and misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement, criminal trespass, two counts of battery and disorderly conduct, and a divided appeals panel affirmed the conviction and sentence, rejecting Walls’ arguments that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the criminal trespass and convictions, that the jury was improperly instructed, that the trial court improperly limited his closing argument, and that the voluntary intoxication statute is unconstitutional. Dissenting Judge Patricia Riley would reverse the criminal trespass conviction, holding that residents of an apartment complex could not ask Walls to leave the common areas outside their doors where he was creating a disturbance.

Terry Eldridge v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1301-CR-24
Criminal. Dismisses appeal to trial court’s denial of petition for additional credit time for completing a rehabilitative program prior to sentencing. Rules under Appellate Rule 9, Eldridge did not file a timely notice of his appeal. The proper time to file an appeal was within 30 days of the court’s 2006 sentencing order which Eldridge did not do.   

Kevin Patterson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1208-CR-628
Criminal. Affirms convictions for battery, a Class C felony; and intimidation, a Class C felony.

Isaiah Adams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1212-CR-605
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Joshua Steelman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A05-1212-CR-661
Criminal. Affirms convictions for theft, as a Class D felony; criminal mischief, as a Class B misdemeanor; and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, as a Class B misdemeanor.

Clifford N. Whitmer, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1302-CR-70
Criminal. Affirms 50-year sentence for conviction of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class A felony.

Timothy G. Lyles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
08A02-1302-CR-179
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting along with sentence for a 40-year aggregate term.

In the Matter of D.S., Child in Need of Services; R.J. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1301-JC-26
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s adjudication of R.J.’s (father) child, D.S., as a child in need of services.

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

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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