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Opinions Dec. 17, 2013

December 17, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, et al v. Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC
93S02-1306-EX-407
Agency action. Affirms the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s approval of a contract between Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC that obligates the state to purchase synthetic natural gas that would be produced at a coal-gasification plant in Rockport. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals had invalidated the contract, but justices agreed that the IURC’s decision should be affirmed because the parties modified the disputed portion of the contract.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. v. Gregory S. Schafer and Shane Schafer b/n/f Gregory S. Schafer
37A03-1303-CP-86
Civil plenary. Affirms award of more than $86,000 in fees to the Schafers for IHSAA’s unreasonable conduct in pursuing litigation after courts repeatedly called rules it sought to enforce to declare Schafer ineligible arbitrary and capricious. The trial court was within its discretion to hold IHSAA’s conduct unreasonable and consider multiple rulings against IHSAA in reaching the decision to impose fees.

Jason Young v. Hood's Gardens, Inc.
29A02-1303-PL-298
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Hood’s that it was not secondarily liable for payment of workers’ compensation benefits to Young. Judge James Kirsch dissents, arguing Hood’s did not establish that the value of services provided by Young’s boss did not exceed $1,000.

Indiana Restorative Dentistry, P.C. v. The Laven Insurance Agency, Inc., and Proassurance Indemnity Company, Inc. f/k/a The Medical Assurance Company, Inc.
49A05-1212-PL-627
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Laven and Proassurance, holding that Laven had a special duty to procure full coverage based on its past dealings with IRD. Remands to the trial court to enter summary judgment to IRD with respect to Laven’s duty to advise and procure, and remands for proceedings regarding Proassurance’s vicarious liability.

Christopher D. Bunch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1303-CR-227
Criminal. Affirms Bunch’s 80-year executed sentence for pleading guilty to five counts of child molesting, each as a Class A felony.

In the Matter of the Commitment of T.G. (NFP)
19A05-1306-MH-303
Mental health. Affirms regular mental health commitment order.

Kelly S. Craig v. State of Indiana (NFP)
63A05-1209-PC-494
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Craig’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Carl E. Ascherman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1305-CR-237
Criminal. Affirms Ascherman’s 20-year executed sentence following a conviction for one count of attempted child molesting, a Class B felony, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Class A misdemeanors.

Ayanna Earls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-364
Criminal. Affirms conviction for battery, a Class A misdemeanor.

Christopher Turner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1304-PC-168
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Turner’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Donald L. Deputy v. Connie S. Deputy (NFP)
30A04-1303-DR-108
Domestic relation. Affirms order that father pay for son’s college room and board. Reverses order that father maintain health insurance and health care costs on children and remands for the order to be amended that the duty to maintain health care coverage is contingent upon his children remaining enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution. Judge Elaine Brown concurs in part and dissents in part.  

Adam S. Fiers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
85A04-1306-CR-320
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Fiers’ probation and sentencing him to serve six months on work release for failing to meet the financial obligations of his probation.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by 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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