Opinions Dec. 28, 2011

December 28, 2011
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The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Metropolitan School District of Pike Township v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance
Tax.  Reverses the Department of Local Government Finance’s final determination on the school district’s capital project fund level property tax rate for 2011. The DLGF did not properly apply the formula in Indiana Code 6-1.1-18-12(e) when it adjusted Pike Township school district’s capital projects fund levy property tax rate. The DLGF’s use of negative numbers in steps two and four of the formula for tax years 2007 through 2010 to produce a CPF levy property tax rate calculation for 2011 is wrong: it should have used zeros as it was statutorily required. Remands to the DLGF with instructions to recalculate the school district’s CPF levy property tax rates for 2007 through 2010 by using zero values instead of negative values in steps two and four of the formula contained in Indiana Code 6-1.1-18-12(e). These corrections will result in both a step one and a step seven value for 2011 of 0.3100.

Wednesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. George Pabey
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms Pabey’s convictions of conspiring to embezzle government funds and embezzling government funds and sentence of 60 months in prison, along with a $60,000 fine, $14,000 in restitution, and three years of supervised release. The District Court did not abuse its discretion by permitting the jury to receive the conscious avoidance instruction. The sentence enhancements were appropriate and the District Court provided adequate support for its upward departure of his sentence.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Collier v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement. The trial court erred in denying Collier’s request for a mistrial pursuant to Batson. Remands for a new trial.

Kimberly Heaton v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses revocation of probation and orders Heaton serve 18 months of her previously suspended sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. The trial court abused its discretion by using the incorrect legal standard in determining if Heaton committed another offense. Remands to the trial court to use the correct legal standard.

Adrian Collins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery.

Terrence Terren Walker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class A felony dealing cocaine conviction and habitual offender finding and remands with instructions to merge Walker’s Class A felony cocaine possession conviction into his cocaine dealing conviction.

Douglas L. Hayden v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Sheila Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to dismiss charges of theft and fraud on a financial institution.

Kevin Backus v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed upon revoking placement in community corrections.

Todd Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies criminal recklessness and strangulation.

D.E. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class D felony receiving stolen property if committed by an adult.

A.T. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms that A.T.’s trial counsel was not ineffective.

Allison Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.W.; N.W. (Mother) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Kevin Hounshell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and a habitual substance offender enhancement.

The Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: D.H.H. & A.M.H., and Carrie Crawford v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Larry A. Rowe, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Joshua Baker v. Robert Brown (NFP)
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Baker’s motion to correct error and concluded the jury award to Baker was inadequate. Remands for further proceedings.

John T. Hamilton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for three counts of Class A felony child molesting and three counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Walter Angermeier and Wolflin, LLC v. Schultheis Insurance Agency Inc. and William Thompson, Agent (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Thompson and Schultheis Insurance Agency on whether there was a breach of general duty of care.

John R. Crawford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues