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Opinions Aug. 9, 2011

August 9, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Buse, Kathleen Payne, et al. v. Trustees of the Luce Township Regional Sewer District
74A05-1009-PL-590
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s conclusion that four counts of the property owners’ complaint constitute a public lawsuit against the Luce Township Regional Sewer District, pursuant to Indiana Code 34-6-2-124. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp., et al. v. Save the Valley, et al.
49A02-1011-MI-1178
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s determination that Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp. (IKEC) may not relitigate the issue of associational standing arising from Save the Valley, Inc. v. Indiana-Kentucky Elec. Corp., 820 N.E.2d 677 (2005). Holds that law-of-the-case doctrine bars IKEC from doing so, and that the Indiana Supreme Court has previously held that groups challenging IKEC’s solid waste permit could seek administrative review under the doctrine of associational standing.

Stephen M. Scheckel v. NLI, Inc.
02A04-1010-SC-645
Small claim. Reverses trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of NLI. Holds that the trial court erred when it found that the condition of the tree on NLI’s property that damaged the appellant’s property did not pose an unreasonable risk of harm. Remands for the entry of judgment consistent with the COA opinion.

Brian Haehl v. David Montgomery and Phyliss Crumbo
22A01-1007-TR-319
Trust. Affirms trial court’s denial of attorney fees and additional compensation in favor of Haehl, reverses the court’s award of attorney fees in favor of the appellees, and remands for the court to revise its 2010 order consistent with the COA opinion. Holds that the court’s award of attorney fees under Ind. Code 30-4-3-22(e) was erroneous.

Bethany Quiring, Linda Ann Johnston f/k/a Linda Ann Lougher, et al. v. Geico General Insurance Company
52A02-1012-CT-1434
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s denial of Quiring’s motion to dismiss or stay, finding she was not a resident of her mother’s household when she sought underinsured motorist benefits under a GEICO insurance policy issued to her mother.

Joseph A. Kelley v. Jagdish Patel, Jayandra Patel, d/b/a Economy Inn and Indiana Insurance
79A02-1010-CT-1212
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Indiana Insurance on the estate’s claim of spoliation of evidence, holding that a cause of action is not available under the facts of the case.

Michael Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
61A01-1101-CR-23
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Ronald Miller v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-CR-3
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy and resisting law enforcement.

Michelle Hager v. Robert and Sue Faris (NFP)
32A01-1103-CT-89
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of appellees.

Gabriel L. Hill v. Jana E. Hill (NFP)
49A02-1009-DR-1193
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s award of attorney fees to wife and finds the amount appropriate. Affirms division of marital estate and child support order.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of C.K., et al.; D.A. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
29A02-1101-JT-51
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Jennifer Curts v. David Curts (NFP)
29A02-1010-DR-1138
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s judgment in divorce, stating appellant failed to present a cogent argument on any claims on appeal.

Jeremy Klakamp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1003-CR-189
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder.

Tommy D. Ford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1009-PC-610
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.D., et al.; J.D. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
03A01-1102-JT-46
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Danielle L. Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-CR-16
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

The Matter of the 2008 Hancock County Tax Sale (NFP)
30A01-1102-PL-56
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s order, holding that the court committed prima facie error in finding it lacked jurisdiction to determine the merits of appellant’s claim. Remands to the trial court with instructions to address appellant’s petition for payment of redemption interest.

Gary Moody v. State of Indiana (NFP)
41A01-1012-CR-649
Criminal. Affirms conviction of disorderly conduct.

J.G. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1101-JD-27
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s placement of J.G. with the Department of Correction.

Beverly A. Fussner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
19A05-1012-CR-812
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s decision to allow the state to reopen its case after the state had rested.

James Hunter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
17A03-1102-CR-106
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

I.M. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1101-JV-41
Juvenile. Reverses trial court’s order that I.M. pay restitution, holding there is no evidence that the court engaged in inquiry sufficient to determine whether I.M. would be able to pay restitution. Remands for new restitution hearing.

Andre L. Gorman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1010-CR-640
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in cocaine or narcotic drug and related charges.

Robert Holland III v. Country Wide Home Loans, Inc. (NFP)
45A03-1008-MF-487
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms trial court’s denial of motion set aside judgment, finding no allegations justifying relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B). Denies appellee’s request for attorney fees, finding Holland did not pursue his claim in bad faith.  

Terry T. Miles, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A04-1103-CR-117
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s determination that Miles violated the terms of his home detention.

Dean C. Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1011-PC-1361
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Aaron Davidson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1005-CR-298
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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