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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. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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