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
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
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
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
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
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)
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)
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)
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Stalbrink Jr. in Swoboda’s claim for legal malpractice.

Aimee Cotton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

Eqwan Garrett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

Nelson Gary, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Steve A. Morrison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Sniders’ motion to correct error based on newly discovered evidence.

Antonio D. Murillo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony criminal confinement and Class D felony domestic battery.

Jacob J. Cummings v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jermail D. Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

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

Indiana Tax Court
Brenda Truedell-Bell v. Marion County Treasurer
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. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  2. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  3. Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh who is helping Sister Fuller with this Con Artist Kevin Bart McCarthy scares Sister Joseph Therese, Patricia Ann Fuller very much that McCarthy will try and hurt Patricia Ann Fuller and Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh or any member of his family. Sister is very, very scared, (YES, I AM) This McCarthy guy is a real, real CON MAN and crook. I try to totall flatter Kevin Bart McCARTHY to keep him from hurting my best friends in this world which are Carolyn Rose and Paul Hartman. I Live in total fear of this man Kevin Bart McCarthy and try to praise him as a good man to keep us ALL from his bad deeds. This man could easy have some one cause us a very bad disability. You have to PRAISAE in order TO PROTECT yourself. He lies and makes up stories about people and then tries to steal if THEY OWN THRU THE COURTS A SPECIAL DEVOTION TO PROTECT, EX> Our Lady of America DEVOTION. EVERYONE who reads this, PLEASE BE CAREFUL of Kevin Bart McCarthy of Indianapolis, IN My Phone No. IS 419-435-3838.

  4. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  5. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.