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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. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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