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Opinions Aug. 31, 2010

August 31, 2010
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The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday.
Indiana Supreme Court
Anne W. Murphy, et al. v. Jannis Fisher, et al.
49S02-1008-CV-463
Civil. Summarily affirms the Indiana Court of Appeals holding that the Medicaid transportation services providers do not have a private right to sue the state for cutting the transportation reimbursement rates. Concludes the state invited any court error with respect to the right of Medicaid recipients to sue for relief and it will be held to its concession that recipients have a private right of action in this case. Remands with instructions to allow the recipients to present evidence establishing the transportation to which they may be entitled by Section 30(A), that they have been or will be denied the services to which they are entitled, and what relief they are due. Justice Sullivan did not participate.

Today's opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. v. ACE American Insurance Co.
10-1073
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of diversity suit against insurer. ACE had no duty to provide Hayes Lemmerz International’s lawyers with legal advice and didn’t breach its duty to defend by failing to advise HLI that its law firm wasn’t defending the suit properly.

Daniel J. Wickens and Pamela Wickens, and Mark E. Shere v. Shell Oil Co. and Shell Oil Products Co., LLC
09-2737 and 09-2620
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses District Court’s ruling regarding calculation, deducting Colleen Shere’s fees from Mark Shere’s attorneys’ fees award in case involving corrective action costs. Remands for further proceedings, and affirms remainder of the District Court’s judgment.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy Hamby, et al. v. Board of Zoning Appeals, et al.
87A04-0912-CV-700
Civil. Affirms trial court’s denial for declaratory relief for Hamby and other homeowners. The Board of Zoning Appeals and Area Plan Commission of Warrick County had approved a variance to allow a permit to be issued to another homeowner for a wind turbine exceeding the maximum height requirement in a multiple family zoning district; however the trial court’s reversal of the BZA’s decision to grant the variance is not being appealed.

James R. Meier, et al. v. Homeowners of Mallard's Landing, Inc. (NFP)
64A05-1001-CP-25
Civil. Finds the trial court erred in granting the homeowners’ association’s summary judgment without first determining the validity of the association’s formation. After the trial court makes it determination, it can then decide whether certain damages are appropriate regarding Meier’s lots.

James Wright, et al. v. Camaro Costello, et al. (NFP)
49A05-1002-CT-160
Civil. Affirms trial court’s ruling transferring case to Vanderburgh County because the business property he tried to purchase is located there, making the county a preferred venue.

Donald Fisher v. Tower Bank and Trust Co. (NFP)
02A05-1002-MF-97
Civil. Reaffirms and clarifies its decision that the trial court properly granted summary judgment. Fisher notes the appeals court cited evidence not properly designated to the trial court for summary judgment purposes. The appeals court acknowledges it referenced an appraisal report not property designated for summary judgment purposes but the information garnered from the report is contained within materials that were properly designated for such purposes.

Lori A. Deardorff (Tilden) v. Kevin L. Deardorff (NFP)
43A03-0912-CV-560
Civil. Because the appeals court is unable to address any of Lori’s allegations of error, it affirms the trial court’s order to reduce Kevin’s child support obligation. Lori, pro se, did not cite evidence or explain application in the record supporting her claims.

Dennis and Lisa Morrow v. Walter and Lois Kucharski (NFP)
45A03-0911-CV-509
Civil. Affirms $45,025.56 judgment in favor of the Kucharskis involving a private nuisance claim. Denies the Kucharskis’ request for appellate attorney’s fees.

James T. Parado v. Maria J. Parado (Mast) (NFP)
34A02-1002-DR-282
Civil. Affirms denial of James’ petition to modify custody and granting Maria’s petition to modify custody.

Max Jacobus, et al. v. Peggy L. Proffitt (NFP)
36A01-0912-CV-565
Civil. Reverses judgment and remands for trial court to establish an easement of necessity entirely on Proffitt’s property which complies with the applicable ordinance regarding the proper width of easements.

W.G. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1004-EX-389
Civil. Rules the Review Board properly affirmed the administrative law judge’s decision dismissing W.G.’s appeal as untimely.

Pioneer Auto Truck Sales, Inc. v. Dolores Burch (NFP)
93A02-1002-EX-207
Civil. Affirms Worker’s Compensation Board’s award of benefits to Burch because medical report met statutory requirements.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of L.R.; A.W. v. IDCS (NFP)
32A01-1002-JT-53
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

J.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0912-JV-1184
Juvenile. Affirms J.L.’s adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class D felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license, and Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm if committed by an adult.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.O.S.; A.M. Jr. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
20A03-0911-JV-539
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

F.D. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1003-JV-199
Juvenile. Affirms modification of F.D.’s placement and commitment to the Indiana Department of Correction.

John Ray Henry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-0911-CR-513
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting.

Timothy William Woolum, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-0912-CR-1231
Criminal. Affirms probation revocation and order that Woolum serve the portion of sentence that previously had been suspended to probation.

Christopher Ostack v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-28
Criminal. Affirms 30-year sentence and rules the state presented sufficient evidence to rebut his self-defense claim.

William J. VanHorn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1002-PC-122
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his conviction following his guilty plea to burglary.

Brandon L. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0910-CR-576
Criminal. Remands with instructions to vacate Smith’s conviction of and sentence for criminal confinement as a Class B felony, to impose conviction of and an appropriate sentence for criminal confinement as a Class D felony, and to conduct a hearing to determine an appropriate amount of restitution. Affirms in all other respects.

Emily Meyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1001-CR-69
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class A felony dealing in a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance.

Grante Fricklin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1001-CR-22
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Charles E. Hubbard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1002-CR-151
Criminal. Rules the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Hubbard and that his 135-year sentence is not inappropriate.  

James R. Cook v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1004-CR-307
Criminal. Rules the trial court improperly imposed consecutive sentences totaling six years for two Class D felony counts of battery resulting in bodily injury to a person under fourteen years of age that were one episode of criminal conduct; reverses and remands for resentencing consistent with this opinion.

Justin Sparks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-0911-CR-1105
Criminal. Rules trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Sparks to serve the one year that remained on his sentence for battery after his probation revocation.

Finnegan J. Coley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1001-CR-43
Criminal. Reverses and remands for the trial court to enter the advisory sentence of 1 1/2 years on the Class D felony conviction for possession of cocaine, to be served concurrent with Coley’s 16-year sentence on the Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The State concedes the error that the same evidence of his being found in possession of a handgun was used to convict him for possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and to enhance the cocaine conviction to a Class C felony, which is in contravention of Indiana’s prohibition against double jeopardy.

Timothy Treacy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0911-CR-647
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Stevie W. Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-0908-CR-392
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal.

Kevin H. Griffith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
91A02-1003-CR-414
Criminal. Rules state presented sufficient evidence to rebut his claim of self-defense.

Ovidio Rosario v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-17
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Indiana Tax Court
Dora Brown, Ben Kindle, and Sonjia Graf v. Dept. of Local Government Finance (NFP)
49T10-0909-TA-52
Tax. Affirms in part and reverses in part the Department of Local Government Finance’s approval of the Gregg Township Board’s loan resolution for the 2009 tax year. Remands for the Department of Local Government Finance to determine what portion of the loan amount accurately reflects the fire department’s provision of ambulance service to Gregg Township in Morgan County.

Indiana Supreme Court granted 1 transfer and denied transfer to 22 cases for the week ending Aug. 27.
 

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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