Opinions Dec. 22, 2010

December 22, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline:
Indiana Tax Court
Virginia Garwood, et al. v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue
Tax. Denies the Department of Revenue’s motion to dismiss. The Garwoods’ action is an original tax appeal, so the Tax Court denies all of the department’s 12(B) claims for a motion to dismiss.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Dept. of Insurance, et al. v. Robin Everhart
Civil. Judge Robb dissents to the order denying petition for rehearing. Believes Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 323 should not be applied, as was done in the original opinion.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Trinity Homes LLC and Beazer Homes Investments LLC v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Company and Cincinnati Insurance Company
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Civil. Reverses District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurers on the homebuilders’ suit alleging breach of contract and seeking a declaration that all of the insurers had a duty to provide coverage. The precedential landscape has changed regarding the claim against Ohio Casualty. Remands for reconsideration in light of Sheehan. The District Court’s interpretation of the contract between Cincinnati Insurance and Beazer was erroneous. Declines to reach the question of whether any exclusions or limitations in Cincinnati’s policy apply to Beazer’s claim, leaving that for further proceedings on remand.

Indiana Supreme Court
Andres Sanchez v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Revises Sanchez’s consecutive enhanced sentences of 80 years for three counts of Class A felony child molesting to be served concurrently. Generally, multiple victims justify the imposition of enhanced and consecutive sentences. But although the aggravating circumstances are sufficient to warrant imposing enhanced sentences, the record supports imposing consecutive sentences. Revises sentence to 30 years on two of the counts and to the enhanced term of 40 years on the remaining count and orders they be served concurrently. Justice Rucker dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Oscar I. Belmares-Bautista v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of possession of a counterfeit government-issued identification, a Class A misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle without ever having received a valid license, a Class C misdemeanor. The only issue is whether Belmares-Bautista knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived his right to counsel. The counterfeit identification was what appeared to be a driver’s license from the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico, which an officer identified as a forgery.

Robert Neises Construction Corp. v. Grand Innovations Inc., et al.
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of appellee-defendant Kentland Bank in this foreclosure action. Neises presented the following issues: whether the trial court erred when it concluded that Kentland’s expenditures to protect the subject real estate from damage pending the foreclosure should take priority over Neises’ and others’ mechanic’s liens; and whether the trial court erred when it did not assign Neises’ mechanic’s lien a higher priority than Kentland’s mortgage lien in the distribution of the proceeds from the sheriff’s sale.

Tracey L. Beswick and Ruthie Beswick v. Edward E. Bell, M.D., and Floyd Memorial Hospital & Health Services
Civil. Affirms trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in the medical malpractice action that Tracey L. Beswick and his wife Ruthie Beswick brought against Edward E. Bell, M.D. and Floyd Memorial. Beswicks raised the issue of whether the trial court erred by striking the affidavit of Michael Roback, M.D., submitted by the Beswicks in opposition to Floyd Memorial’s motion for summary judgment.

Glendal Rhoton v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and burglary as a Class C felony, and the sentences imposed following a jury trial. Rhoton presented three issues for review: whether trial court abused its discretion when it instructed the jury on burglary; whether the evidence was sufficient to support Rhoton’s conviction of murder; whether Rhoton’s sentence was inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

Mark R. Eiler v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses and remands Eiler’s sentence for dealing cocaine as a Class A felony. Eiler raised the issues of whether the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing Eiler, and whether Eiler’s sentence was inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

Francisco Contreras v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of three counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Ryan T. Renfroe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Renfroe’s aggregate executed sentence of 124 years after he pled guilty to two counts of murder and one count of Class C felony escape.

Clarence E. Lampkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses and remands conviction of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as a Class B felony.

Allen Marshall v. Kris Marshall (NFP)
Civil. Reverses and remands trial court’s order that emancipated father’s daughter.

Thomas M. Blair v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction, following a jury trial, of burglary as a Class B felony.

James A. Nelson v. Michael Collins (NFP)
Civil. Remands with instructions for the trial court to dismiss Nelson’s complaint without prejudice.

In the Matter of T.O., et al.; J.O. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s order determining that T.O., S.O., B.O., R.O., Z.O., E.O., and G.O. were children in need of services.

Larrell Alexander v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for dealing in cocaine, a Class B felony, and resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.

Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of G.B., et al.; G.B. & B.B. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Reverses and remands with instructions trial court’s order terminating mother’s parental rights over her minor children G.B., K.B., and E.B.

Jerry Bunton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, a Class D felony, following a jury trial.

Eric Guess v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jeffrey D. Boggs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of escape as a Class C felony, and eight-year executed sentence.

Mark Richmond v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 93-year aggregate sentence imposed following convictions of rape, a Class B felony; criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony; burglary, a Class B felony; and confinement, a Class D felony, as well as the finding that he is a habitual offender.

D.R. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development (NFP)
Civil. Affirms a decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that denied D.R.’s unemployment benefits.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.