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Opinions Dec. 15, 2010

December 15, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court
Joshua G. Nicoson v. State of Indiana
32S04-1003-CR-150
Criminal. Affirms five-year sentence enhancement for the use of a firearm following Nicoson's convictions of criminal confinement with a deadly weapon as a Class B felony. Holds that adding these years is consistent both with the statutes in question and with the prohibition against double jeopardy.

Hamilton County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals & Hamilton County Assessor v. Oaken Bucket Partners, LLC
49S10-1003-TA-140
Tax. Reverses Tax Court’s decision which reversed the state board’s final determination affirming the denial of Oaken Bucket’s exemption application. Charging below-market rent for part of a building rented to a church is insufficient, standing alone, to justify a religious and charitable purpose property tax exemption. Instead, an owner of leased property must provide evidence that it possesses an exempt purpose separate and distinct from the exempt purpose of its lessee.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Henry C. Woodward v. Kimberlee A. Norton
71A03-1004-DR-225
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court finding that Special Judge Michael Gotsch had properly assumed jurisdiction over portions of the parties’ post-dissolution proceeding and finding Woodward in contempt of court for failing to comply with his child support and child support-related obligations. Woodward waived any objection regarding Special Judge Gotsch’s presence in the action.

Jose Reynosa v. Pedcor Construction Corp, et al.
49A02-1004-CT-434
Civil tort. Affirms order granting motion to dismiss with prejudice Reynosa’s complaint alleging negligence after he was injured in a construction accident in Tennessee. The trial court didn’t err in concluding that Reynosa is barred by Tennessee law from pursuing tort claims against Pedcor and other appellees.

James Norwood v. State of Indiana
49A04-1004-CR-212
Criminal. Reverses conviction of invasion of privacy as a Class A misdemeanor. Because the October 9, 2008, protective order expired on October 9, 2009, before the date of the alleged violation on December 26, 2009, the evidence is insufficient to sustain Norwood’s conviction.

Sharon Gill, on her own behalf and on behalf of the estate of Gale Gill, deceased v. Evansville Sheet Metal Works, Inc.
49A05-0912-CV-699
Civil. Affirms grant of Evansville Sheet Metal Works’ motion for summary judgment with respect to Sharon Gill’s complaint that Gale had been exposed to asbestos and died from an asbestos-related disease. Sharon brought her complaint outside the 10-year period stipulated in the Construction Statute of Repose so her claim is barred.

Joe Brewer v. State of Indiana
49A04-1004-CR-257
Criminal. Affirms conviction of sale of alcoholic beverages without a permit as a Class B misdemeanor. There is sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction.

Rick Hill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
01A02-1002-CR-181
Criminal. Affirms convictions of 12 counts of Class A misdemeanor cruelty to an animal and one count of Class D felony improper disposal of an animal that has died.

Robert Murphy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A04-1003-CR-149
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct, Class C felony robbery, and Class D felony criminal confinement.

Jose Carlos Arce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
88A01-1003-CR-155
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony robbery.

J.S.M. v. B.C.M. (NFP)
73A01-1003-DR-199
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of J.S.M.’s motion to modify custody.

James Alfred Peek, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1005-CR-576
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Peek serve the balance of his previously suspended sentence in the Department of Correction.

Tilonda Annae Thomas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1002-CR-97
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony residential entry.

Terry A. Hodge v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1003-PC-146
Post conviction. Affirms denial of successive petition for post-conviction relief.

Colip-Riggin Corporation v. Rea Riggin & Sons, Inc., et al. (NFP)
18A04-1001-PL-13
Civil plenary. Affirms order granting Rea Riggin & Sons Inc.’s motion to dismiss a complaint alleging breach of contract.

Hummer Transportation, et al. v. Kimberly Spoa-Harty, et al. (NFP)
64A04-1002-CT-72
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict and judgment on the issue of damages in favor of Spoa-Harty and Harty in a personal injury action.

Justin Croucher v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1006-CR-293
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and execution of nearly all of Croucher’s previously suspended sentence.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of M.D., et al.; T.D. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
71A03-1006-JT-347
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

M.H. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1005-EX-496
Civil. Affirms decision that M.H. is not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Keith M. Ramsey, M.D. v. Shella Moore, et al. (NFP)
45A05-1005-CT-308
Civil tort. Affirms denial of Methodist Hospital’s motion to dismiss. Reverses denial of Dr. Ramsey’s motion to dismiss. Remands for further proceedings.

Jennifer L. Oder v. State of Indiana (NFP)
30A01-1004-CR-188
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in a controlled substance, Class D felony possession of a controlled substance, and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Michael D. Robbins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A03-1006-CR-328
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to set aside plea agreement.

Charles E. Justise, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
77A01-1006-SC-352
Small claims. Affirms dismissal of complaint pursuant to I.C. Section 34-58-1-2.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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