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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
82T10-0906-TA-29
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
84A01-0912-CV-614
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
09-3613
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
20S04-1012-CR-692
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
57A04-1003-CR-223
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.
45A03-1004-PL-238
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
22A01-1005-CT-260
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
49A02-1004-CR-446
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
73A04-1005-CR-369
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)
49A02-1004-CR-426
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)
40A01-1002-CR-96
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)
29A05-1005-CR-373
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)
85A03-1005-DR-289
Civil. Reverses and remands trial court’s order that emancipated father’s daughter.

Thomas M. Blair v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1005-CR-295
Criminal. Affirms conviction, following a jury trial, of burglary as a Class B felony.

James A. Nelson v. Michael Collins (NFP)
26A01-1007-PL-329
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)
85A04-1006-JC-407
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)
34A04-1003-CR-250
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)
42A05-1005-JT-318
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)
49A02-1006-CR-600
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, a Class D felony, following a jury trial.

Eric Guess v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1004-PC-281
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jeffrey D. Boggs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
40A01-1004-CR-163
Criminal. Affirms conviction of escape as a Class C felony, and eight-year executed sentence.

Mark Richmond v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-0607-CR-293
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)
93A02-1005-EX-522
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. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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