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Opinions August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Arboleda Ortiz v. Thomas Webster, Doctor
10-2012
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry McKinney.
Civil. Vacates summary judgment for Dr. Webster and remands with instructions that the case proceed to trial. This is the second time the case has come on appeal and the first time, the 7th Circuit reversed summary judgment for the doctor on the grounds that Ortiz had established fact disputes on the seriousness of his eye condition and the constitutionally of Webster’s delayed response. The record had changed very little on remand yet the District Court granted summary judgment for the doctor. Judge Kanne dissents.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jesus A. Villagrana v. State of Indiana
08A05-1101-CR-21
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony neglect of a dependent. Villagrana was negligent, but the child neglect statute requires intent beyond negligence.

Kerwin Masten and Heather Masten v. AMCO Insurance Company
49A02-1009-CT-998
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for AMCO Insurance Co. The trial court erred in concluding as a matter of law that no underinsured motorist coverage is available to the Mastens. Remands for further proceedings.

Stephen L. Gilmore v. State of Indiana
40A01-1011-CR-553
Criminal. Reverses on interlocutory appeal the order finding that Gilmore was no longer indigent and that he had waived or forfeited his right to appointed counsel by his obstreperous conduct. The trial court abused its discretion by finding that Gilmore was not indigent and it retains the ability to order him to reimburse the costs of his defense to the extent he is able to do so. Gilmore is entitled to a hearing during which he should be warned that if his difficult behavior persists, the trial court will find he has chosen self-representation by his own conduct. Remands for further proceedings.

S.G. v. State of Indiana
49A05-1011-JV-736
Juvenile. Affirms in part and reverses in part S.G.’s adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class D felony receiving stolen property if committed by an adult. The facts of this case do not satisfy the requirements of a custodial interrogation and the introduction of S.G.’s statements did not violate Article I, Section 14 of the Indiana Constitution. The trial court abused its discretion in imposing a restitution order in an amount allegedly greater than the victim’s actual loss. Orders a new restitution hearing held if the state desires.

Carrie Chapman v. Irrevocable Trust of Stephen Chapman
02A03-1012-TR-624
Trust. Affirms trial court’s decision with regard to its exercise of jurisdiction over the trust proceedings. Carrie has not established that the trial court could not or should not have exercised jurisdiction over the trust as the subject matter of the trust reformation and the Chapmans’ divorce proceedings is not the same or substantially the same. The trial court erred when it determined the trustees weren’t required to establish that the dissolution was unforeseeable. Because the trustees failed to prove that the dissolution at the time of distribution was unforeseen or not anticipated as required, reverses modification of trust that delayed distribution to Stephen until after the dissolution is final or any appeal therefrom.

Dalmas Maurice Otieno Anyango, et al. v. Rolls Royce Corp., et al.
49A04-1011-CT-679
Civil tort. Affirms grant of Rolls Royce and other appellees’ motion to dismiss on the grounds of forum non conveniens the Anyanagos’ complaint for strict liability and wrongful death. Even if the trial court had not granted the motion to dismiss, the law of British Columbia would apply in Indiana, and the trial court did not err in granting the motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens.

Matthew Erin Koch v. State of Indiana
82A01-1004-CR-154
Criminal. Affirms kidnapping, robbery, and battery convictions because evidence of probative value was presented at trial from which a jury could find Koch kidnapped Le in Indiana and that the robbery and battery offenses were integrally related. Vacates Koch’s convictions of two counts of Class B felony criminal confinement because of double jeopardy. Reverses 45-year aggregate sentence and remands with instructions to impose an aggregate sentence of 30 years. Judge Riley dissents regarding the sentence revision.

Travelers Insurance Companies, et al. v. Maplehurst Farms, Inc., et al.
49A04-1006-PL-394
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Maplehurst that directed Travelers to reimburse Maplehurst for the pre-notice costs and indemnity expenses. The trial court erred in doing so in light of Dreaded Inc. v. St. Paul Guardian Ins. Co. Maplehurst is not entitled to an award of its attorney fees from Travelers. Remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in Travelers’ favor as to those costs and expenses and for further proceedings. Judge May dissents.

James R. Sapp v. Flagstar Bank, FSB
49A02-1101-PL-4
Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part the denial of Sapp’s motion to correct error, which challenged a summary judgment order upon the claims of Flagstar Bank against Sapp for breach of contract, theft, and unjust enrichment. A genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether or not the bank’s loss of the check and two-month acquiescence was a failure to exercise ordinary care regarding the breach of contract claim. Sapp is entitled to summary judgment on the theft claim because Flagstar didn’t show that Sapp’s control was without authorization such that he could have been found to have criminally stolen the funds. He is also entitled to summary judgment on the unjust enrichment claim. Reverses award of attorney fees for Flagstar. Remands for trial only on the contract claim.

Larry D. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1102-CR-89
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony aiding in burglary.

Anthony W. Taylor v. Mark Sevier (NFP)
52A02-1010-MI-1252
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of Taylor’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Troy T. Hardesty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1012-CR-819
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.

D.R., Alleged to be CHINS; E.D. v. IDCS and Child Advocates (NFP)
49A02-1012-JC-1416
Juvenile. Affirms determination that D.R. was a child in need of services.

Terrell B. Wofford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1011-CR-572
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony battery.
 
Sanchez M. Ellis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1012-CR-673
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery, Class D felony battery, and Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

James J. Duchene v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1012-CR-679
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation and imposition of 18 months of previously suspended sentence.

Peter Johnson v. Keith Sove (NFP)
06A01-1102-SC-73
Small claims. Affirms denial of Johnson’s motion to correct error following the denial of his motion to set aside a default judgment in favor of Sove.

William Sebastian, Jr.v. State of Indiana (NFP)
14A01-1012-CR-655
Criminal. Affirms denial of jail credit time.

State of Indiana v. Steven Hollin (NFP)
69A05-1101-PC-113
Post conviction. Reverses grant of Hollin’s petition for post-conviction review. Remands with instructions to deny the petition for post-conviction relief.

Brian E. Crist, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1011-CR-1285
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery.

Thomas E. Curtis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A05-1101-CR-48
Criminal. Reverses conviction of felony murder and remands with instructions.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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