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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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