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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
49T10-1103-TA-21
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
11-2046
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
49A04-1105-CR-229
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
48A02-1104-CR-404
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)
49A02-1106-CR-523
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery.

Terrence Terren Walker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1104-CR-266
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)
09A02-1105-PC-481
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Sheila Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1106-CR-238
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to dismiss charges of theft and fraud on a financial institution.

Kevin Backus v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1105-CR-276
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed upon revoking placement in community corrections.

Todd Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1106-CR-474
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies criminal recklessness and strangulation.

D.E. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1106-JV-286
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)
64A03-1010-CR-539
Criminal. Affirms that A.T.’s trial counsel was not ineffective.

Allison Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1106-CR-266
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)
48A02-1105-JT-416
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Kevin Hounshell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A01-1105-CR-208
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)
71A03-1107-JT-322
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Larry A. Rowe, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1106-CR-518
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Joshua Baker v. Robert Brown (NFP)
68A05-1103-CT-122
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)
10A05-1103-CR-205
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)
65A01-1102-PL-68
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)
62A04-1102-PC-128
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. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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