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Opinions Dec. 30, 2011

December 30, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had issued no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:


Diane Recker v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, and FedEx Trade Networks
93S02-1105-EX-285
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of Recker’s claim for unemployment benefits. Recker was unable to complete a driving test necessary for her job and chose to resign immediately instead of take a three-day unpaid leave of absence. Finds her defense of having clogged ears was not a demonstrable impediment and the Review Board of Workforce Development was reasonable to find that she was discharged for just cause and ineligible for benefits.

State of Indiana v. Amanda Renzulli
32S04-1102-CR-117
Criminal. Reverses trial court grant of Renzulli’s motion to suppress evidence that was based on the grounds there was no reasonable suspicion for police to stop her while she was at a gas station. The police – who received a 911 call about a possible drunk driver in which the caller gave his address and phone number – did have reasonable suspicion to make the investigatory stop of Renzulli. Justice Dickson concurs in result and Justice Rucker dissents with separate opinion.

Friday’s opinions:
Indiana Court of Appeals

Jeremy L. Peters v. State of Indiana
43A05-1103-CR-144
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, holding that the use of Peters’ post-arrest, pre-Miranda silence during the state’s case-in-chief was not fundamental error because the evidence of his guilt was strong, the references to his silence were brief, and the references came amidst the narrative explaining the events after the crime.

Margaret Kosarko v. William A. Padula, Administrator of the Estate of Daniel L. Herndobler, Deceased
45A03-1012-CT-668
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s denial of Kosarko’s motion for prejudgment interest, finding no evidence that she unduly delayed surgery that led to the increase in her medical bills, and that Padula had ample time to research the known dollar cost of the dispute and consider settlement. Judge Melissa May dissented, saying the conclusion reached by the appellate court majority did not address whether Kosarko’s damages were ascertainable during the 30 days in 2008 when Kosarko’s Qualified Settlement Offer was valid.

Mary Alice Manley and Gary Manley v. Ryan J. Sherer, M.D., and Sherer Family Medicine
59A01-1104-PL-190
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Sherer, holding that a dispute of fact exists as to whether Sherer’s failure to warn Zehr not to drive while she was under his care constitutes a continuing wrong that would toll the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims and therefore make the Manleys’ complaint timely. Remands for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Midwest Psychological Center, Inc. v. Indiana Dept. of Administration, Correctional Medical Services, Inc., n/k/a Corizon, Inc., Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Inc., et al.
49A02-1103-MI-213
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s grant of appellees’ motions for judgment on pleadings, holding Midwest’s complaint does not show that it has standing to bring a judicial challenge to the Indiana Department of Administration regarding Minority Health’s MBE decertification or the allegations of a conflict of interest.

Julie R. Waterfield Irrevocable Trust Agreement Dated October 21, 1997; Richard R. Waterfield and J. Randall Waterfield v. The Trust Company of Oxford and Julie R. Waterfield
49A04-1103-TR-95
Trust. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of appellees, holding that the Waterfield children had not proved any claim of fraud or that their distributions from a pour-over trust would be affected by the reformation of their mother’s trust fund.

American Savings, FSB v. Steve H. Tokarski, Successor Personal Rep. of the Estate of John Wroblewski, on Behalf of the Estate
45A04-1105-CC-237
Collections. Reverses grant of summary judgment for Tokarski and denial of summary judgment for American Savings on the count involving the receipt of cashier’s checks to Milovanovic’s savings account. Remands for further proceedings.

Judy Ellis v. M&I Bank
49A05-1107-CC-334
Collections. Affirms trial court’s order granting M&I Bank immediate possession of real estate in which Ellis has a leasehold interest, concluding the order of possession was properly entered and the trial court therefore did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to correct error.

Marvelean Williams v. State of Indiana
49A02-1105-CR-418
Criminal. Affirms conviction for resisting law enforcement, holding Williams has not shown that her conviction must be overturned and Williams had not cited any authority to convince the appellate court that police officers acted unlawfully when they handcuffed her for safety reasons while they conducted their investigation.

Taiwo K. Baker, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1104-CR-164
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Sassy Belle Sunderman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1105-CR-232
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

George Foote, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A04-1102-PC-140
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Thad Suggs III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1105-CR-240
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life.

Edward Mercer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1012-CR-800
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for two counts of Class B felony robbery while armed with a deadly weapon.

Jarrod Eugene Rodriguez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1012-CR-1406
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery while armed with a deadly weapon.

William Scanlon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1106-CR-504
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Willie James Huggins, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A05-1106-CR-276
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 34-year sentence with four years suspended to probation for three Class A felonies, one Class C felony and two Class A misdemeanors.

Carlos Garcia v. Indiana Dept. of Correction and Donna Carnagee (NFP)
48A04-1108-MI-434
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Correction and Donna Carnagee, holding that a material issue of fact exists as to whether the school Garcia attended in Florida is equivalent to a school in Indiana. Remands for the trial court to conduct an evidentiary hearing.

Shawn Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1106-CR-491
Criminal. Affirms murder conviction.

Jeffrey R. Double v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A04-1103-CR-151
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony auto theft and determination that Double is a habitual offender.

Dylan R. Sinn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1106-CR-318
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of 13 years for violating probation, two Class D felony drug-related offenses, and being a habitual substance offender.

Tim Brauner v. RM & JP Investments, Inc. f/k/a Tools, Dies and Molds Co. (NFP)
02A04-1106-PL-321
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s grant of RM & JP’s motion for summary judgment regarding Letter of Compensation, reverses grant of RM & JP’s motion for summary judgment with respect to Letter of Employment and affirms the denial of Brauner’s motion for summary judgment.

In Re: The Marriage of Linda Carpenter and Willie Carpenter (NFP)
89A01-1101-DR-1
Domestic relation. Remands to the dissolution court with instructions to exclude the vehicle in dissolution decree and order husband’s repayment of one-half of the difference between assets awarded to him and assets awarded to wife.

James Kindred, Thomas Kindred and Sam Kindred v. Betty Townsend and Harmon Crone (NFP)
60A04-1101-PL-42
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of Crone’s motion for relief from judgment.  

Willis Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1106-CR-316
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Larry D. Brossman v. Teresa A. Digrigoli (NFP)
32A01-1103-DR-106
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Brossman’s motion to correct error, holding the appeal is not timely.

Amy Rogers v. Michael Durand (NFP)
29A05-1105-DR-221
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order granting Durand’s motion to correct errors.

Jeffrey L. Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1104-CR-216
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

In Re: The Estate of Lucille Lehnerd McMann, Mary Jane McMann, Elizabeth M. McMann and Patricia A. McMann v. Doreen McMann-Trimboli, Trustee; Lucille L. McMann Revocable Trust, et al. (NFP)
71A04-1103-ES-106
Estate, supervised. Affirms summary judgment in favor of McMann-Trimboli, holding she presented ample undisputed evidence that the will was not a product of undue influence.

Daniel Cardine v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1105-PC-267
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jamaal Tinsley v. Nancy Parrish (NFP)
49A05-1104-CT-162
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s denial of Tinsley’s motion to set aside default judgment, holding he was entitled to relief from default judgment because he demonstrated excusable neglect and a meritorious defense. Remands for further proceedings.

Mark Van Eaton and Cynthia Van Eaton Vallimont v. The Ralph David Van Eaton Revocable Trust (NFP)
19A01-1108-TR-352
Trust. Affirms Dubois Circuit Court’s denial of appellants’ motion to correct improper venue.

Christopher R. Hardy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1105-CR-233
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A and Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine, Class D felony possession of methamphetamine and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

Indiana Tax Court and Indiana Supreme Court had issued no opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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