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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
18A02-1210-CT-791
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)
82A01-1210-PL-482
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)
02A03-1212-CR-541
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)
02A05-1212-CR-651
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)
82A01-1302-CR-56
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)
20A03-1301-JT-19
Juvenile. Affirms the involuntary termination of the parental rights of J.M. (mother) and Z.W. (father).

Carlos Ramos v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1211-CR-949
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)

49A04-1203-PC-163
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Jorman’s petition for post-conviction relief.

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

64A05-1212-CR-665
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)

49A05-1301-CR-14
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)

49A05-1301-CR-4
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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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