Opinions Aug. 7, 2013

August 7, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Westminster Presbyterian Church of Muncie, an Indiana Non-Profit Corporation v. Yonghong Cheng and Hongjun Niu, Husband and Wife, as parents of Matthew Cheng, deceased
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Westminster in regard to an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. Reverses denial of summary judgment on wrongful death and invasion-of-privacy claims and remands with instructions to grant summary judgment in favor of Westminster. Finds although the church recommended the babysitter, in whose care Matthew Cheng died, it did not owe a duty to the Cheng family as a matter of law. Also, rules the church’s publicizing the death did not invade on the Chengs’ privacy because the church did not reap any commercial value from doing so.

Centurion Federal Credit Union v. Michael Trible (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court award of damages to Trible. Finds the trial court did not err in its holdings or in computing damages and that Trible did not fail to mitigate damages.  

Dominique L. White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence of 365 days after White pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class A misdemeanor.  

Dominique L. White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of four years after White pleaded guilty to four counts of neglect of a dependent, each as a Class D felony; one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, as a Class D felony; and one count of driving while suspended, as a Class A misdemeanor.  

Dale R. Davidson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Remands for clarification of the sentence imposed on Davidson. Agrees with the state that it is not possible to ascertain what sentence was imposed upon Davidson for his convictions of residential entry, a Class D felony; and three Class A misdemeanors of battery, invasion of privacy and interference with reporting of a crime.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.M., Minor child, and J.M. and Z.W. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms the involuntary termination of the parental rights of J.M. (mother) and Z.W. (father).

Carlos Ramos v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor. Finds the evidence presented was sufficient to establish that Ramos understood his right to a trial by jury but preferred to proceed with a bench trial.  

John Jorman, Jr., v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Post conviction. Affirms denial of Jorman’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Daniel Aguilar, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class C felony child molesting. However, finds the trial court did not specify in the record the conditions of Aguilar’s probation, remands this case to the trial court so that it can specify in the record the terms of his probation.

Cody Steele v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms two-year sentence for escape, as a Class D felony, which was enhanced by one and one-half years due to Steele’s status as a habitual offender.

Shirley Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery as a Class A misdemeanor. Concludes that the incredible dubiosity rule is inapplicable and that Jones’s conviction is supported by sufficient evidence.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.