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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. 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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