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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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