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Opinions Dec. 17, 2010

December 17, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Indiana Supreme Court

Adoption of L.D.; A.B. and N.E. v. Jo.D. and Ja.D.
49S02-1006-CV-330
Civil. Vacates adoption decree and remands with directions to grant mother A.B.’s Trial Rule 60(B) motion. The paternal grandparents and their attorney did not perform the diligent search required by the Due Process Clause to inform A.B. of their adoption petition.

Indiana Court of Appeals
D.P. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1006-JV-391
Juvenile. Affirms commitment to the custody of the Indiana Department of Correction following a delinquency adjudication.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Karl Schmidt Unisia Inc. v. International Union, United Automobile, et al.
09-4001
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of International Union, et al., on their counterclaim to compel arbitration. The collective bargaining agreement’s arbitration clause creates a presumption that the union’s grievance is arbitrable. Because the CBA does not expressly exclude the grievance from arbitration and Karl Schmidt Unisia has not shown the most forceful evidence of the parties’ intent to exclude the grievance from arbitration, Karl Schmidt Unisia has not rebutted the presumption of arbitrability.

United States of America v. Charles Tanner
09-2370
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and life sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and attempted possession of 5 kilograms or more of cocaine with intent to distribute. There was no error in the prosecutor’s closing argument. Except for certain testimony regarding Tanner’s possession of a firearm on one occasion, all of the complained-of evidence was clearly admissible. The one exception was harmless. As for the jury instructions, the District Court’s only error was in giving an “ostrich” instruction lacking sufficient factual support in the trial record. That error was also harmless. The District Court properly calculated Tanner’s sentence, and a life sentence was reasonable under these circumstances.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Harold J. Klinker v. First Merchants Bank, N.A.
01A04-1003-PL-247
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for First Merchants Bank in its complaint for fraud and seeking damages. The trial court should have considered Klinker’s affidavit in opposition to the bank’s summary judgment motion, but summary judgment for the bank was still appropriate.

Office of the Trustee of Wayne Township v. Deborah Brooks
49A05-1005-PL-341
Civil plenary. Affirms preliminary injunction ordering the Wayne Township Trustee to continue providing poor relief to Brooks. The trial court applied the proper standard of review – de novo – and the evidence is sufficient to support the decision in favor of Brooks.

Tara Simpson, et al. v. OP Property Management, LLC, et al.
49A05-1006-CT-355
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Simpson’s suit following an accident with a school bus driver. Simpson’s notice of tort claim was sufficient, the school district isn’t entitled to immunity and there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the school district and driver were negligent and whether Simpson was contributorily negligent or incurred the risk.

Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana
49A02-1001-CR-155
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of the grant of leave to Dawson to file a belated notice of appeal of his probation revocation order. Post-Conviction Rule 2 is available for direct appeals of convictions and sentences only and not for belated appeals of probation revocation orders.

Kelly Brockmann v. Robert Brockmann
02A04-1003-DR-246
Domestic relation. Reverses order compelling arbitration of a petition to modify custody filed by Robert. Concludes that the parties did not intend for Robert’s petition for modification of legal custody to be submitted to arbitration, or to otherwise submit to arbitration any and all possible future disputes that might arise between the parties.

Charles Saffold v. State of Indiana
49A05-1003-CR-180
Criminal. Affirms denial of Saffold’s motion to dismiss the charge of carrying a handgun without a license. It was not a violation for the officer to conduct a second pat-down search to determine whether Saffold had a gun after discovering ammunition on him and in his car.

Thomas W. Conrad v. State of Indiana
20A03-1004-CR-188
Criminal. Affirms conviction of criminal deviate conduct as a Class B felony. The trial court did not err in excluding evidence of Conrad’s victim’s past sexual conduct under Evidence Rules 412 and 403. Conrad’s rights under the United States and Indiana constitutions to effectively impeach and cross-examine witnesses were also not infringed upon by the trial court’s rulings.

Quintez Deloney v. State of Indiana
22A01-0906-CR-273
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony burglary resulting in bodily injury. Remands to the trial court to reduce Deloney’s conviction of and sentence for attempted robbery from a Class A felony to a Class C felony.

John Eric Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1005-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony armed robbery and one count of Class C felony robbery.

Tyree L. Thomas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-CR-173
Criminal. Grants rehearing to clarify holding on Thomas’ claim of mental illness and reaffirms prior decision.

Judd Ponsler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1003-CR-179
Criminal. Affirms two Class C felony child solicitation convictions.

Rodney Waye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
85A02-1003-PC-393
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Doris Coffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A04-1004-CR-240
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation and that Coffman serve all of her suspended sentences.

Michael A. Gilbert v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-564
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony dealing marijuana in an amount in excess of 10 pounds.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of S.W., et al.; M.C. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
55A01-1003-JT-196
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

James R. Robison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1006-CR-291
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony child molesting.

Darren R. Locke v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1008-CR-374
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after the forfeiture of Locke’s license for life.

Jason L. Hatchett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-718
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony attempted robbery, three counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, and one count of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Martie Allen Henderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1004-CR-207
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of marijuana and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and the revocation of probation.

Donald Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1003-CR-168
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, three counts of Class A felony dealing in narcotics, Class B felony cocaine possession, and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

Saul R. Cruz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1004-CR-175
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony dealing in cocaine.

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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