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.
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
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
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
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for battery, a Class C felony; and intimidation, a Class C felony.

Isaiah Adams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Joshua Steelman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
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. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.