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Opinions Aug. 31, 2011

August 31, 2011
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Indiana Supreme Court
Quincy Branham & Shannon Branham v. Rodney Varble & Carol Varble
62S04-1103-SC-139
Small claim. Reverses orders to pay $50 per month and the order Quincy Branham submit five job applications a week.  Affirms order to return for a status check. A court does not err when it orders a party to return for status checks some limited number of times, even if an information of contempt has not been filed.

Quincy Branham & Shannon Branham v. Rodney Varble & Norman Chastain
62S01-1103-SC-141
Small claim. Reverses order that Quincy and Shannon Branham pay on the judgment despite their lack of non-exempt income. The record doesn’t show that the Branhams have any property or income that is not covered by an exemption. Reverses order that Quincy file a certain number of job applications per week. Court orders to seek employment or to seek better employment are not a proper part of a proceeding supplemental.

Wednesday’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
Indiana Area Foundation of the United Methodist Church, Inc., d/b/a United Methodist Church, Bishop Michael Coyner, Ann Glass, and Robert Ostermeier v. Lynn Snyder
49A05-1011-CT-715
Civil tort. Reverses denial of the church’s motion for summary judgment on Rev. Snyder’s defamation claim. The church has made a prima facie showing that the trial court erred on this matter because the statements at issue involve Snyder’s fitness for ministry. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the church on Snyder’s breach of contract claim. The trial court couldn’t determine whether he had an enforceable contract without becoming excessively entangled in church doctrine in violation of the First Amendment. Remands for further proceedings.

Max H. Bonecutter v. Discover Bank
46A04-1009-SC-598
Small claim. Affirms small claims court judgment in favor of Discover Bank of $4,569.17 plus court costs. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Bonecutter’s motion to dismiss under Trial Rule 41(E) for failure to prosecute. The evidence was sufficient to find that an agreement existed between Bonecutter and Discover and that Bonecutter was required to make payments, which he did not do.  

State of Indiana v. Stephen Alter
85A04-1101-CR-44
Criminal. Affirms grant of motion to suppress filed by Alter. The officers lacked reasonable suspicion to further detain Alter for investigatory purposes under the Fourth Amendment at the time one of the officer’s directed Alter to open a small bag and give him anything illegal or give him the marijuana.

Naomi Paddock v. Bradley K. Maikranz, et al. (NFP)
82A05-1010-CT-636
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Maikranz and Fifth Third on Paddock’s suit alleging violations of the Indiana Uniform Securities Act, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud.

Tony Benson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1103-CR-90
Criminal. Reveres order granting Benson permission to file a belated notice of appeal and dismisses Benson’s appeal of his sentence.

Richard Swoboda v. Richard Stalbrink, Jr. (NFP)
46A04-1102-CT-39
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Stalbrink Jr. in Swoboda’s claim for legal malpractice.

Aimee Cotton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A05-1101-CR-30
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

Eqwan Garrett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1101-CR-2
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and Class D felony pointing a firearm.

Jerry Perry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1363
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class B felony burglary, two counts of Class C felony robbery, Class C felony conspiracy to commit robbery, and two counts of Class D felony criminal confinement.

Dohjae Kirkland v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-CR-6
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

Nelson Gary, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1367
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony arson and three counts of Class C felony criminal confinement.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of I.N. and J.T-R.; D.R.N., Jr. v. IDCS (NFP)
20A03-1101-JT-19
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Steve A. Morrison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1012-IF-1337
Infraction. Affirms finding that Morrison committed a Class C infraction of failing to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle.

Melinda Engelking v. John T. Cosby (NFP)
03A01-1101-CC-17
Civil collection. Affirms judgment in favor of Cosby on his claim for breach of a land use agreement.

Richard L. Snider and Sherrie W. Snider v. European Warmblood Imports, Inc., Michael Pedersen and April Pedersen (NFP)
02A04-1009-PL-614
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Sniders’ motion to correct error based on newly discovered evidence.

Antonio D. Murillo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
09A05-1011-CR-689
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony criminal confinement and Class D felony domestic battery.

Jacob J. Cummings v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1103-CR-103
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony possession of methamphetamine, Class D felony possession of a syringe, and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Donald Klinzman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1003-PC-465
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jermail D. Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1101-CR-94
Criminal. Affirms convictions of three counts of Class B felony dealing cocaine but reverses application of habitual offender sentencing enhancements to all three counts. Remands for removal of the enhancement from two sentences.  

Danny Grigsby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-CR-41
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Reo Jon'ta Thompson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1012-CR-635
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two counts of murder in the perpetration of robbery.

Indiana Tax Court
Brenda Truedell-Bell v. Marion County Treasurer
49T10-1107-TA-46
Tax. Dismisses appeal. Truedell-Bell’s lack of a final determination from the Indiana Board of Tax Review deprives the Tax Court of subject matter jurisdiction.
 

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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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