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Opinions Dec. 31, 2013

December 31, 2013
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Zachary Medlock v. Trustees of Indiana University, et al.
13-1900
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of IU and other defendants, holding that a student inspection of a dorm room that found marijuana followed by a police search warrant in which the pot was seized was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Likewise, the process through which Medlock was suspended was not a denial of due process.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dayron Bell v. State of Indiana
82A01-1306-CR-271
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of a conviction of contempt of court as moot, declining Dayron Bell’s appeal on the basis of a public interest exception for matters of great public importance. Bell’s appeal was moot because his sentence had been served and no relief was available, and nothing in his appeal fell within the limited public-interest exception.

Paul Gillock and Kathy Gillock v. City of New Castle, Indiana
33A01-1308-CT-338
Civil tort. Affirms award of attorney fees to the city after the Gillocks’ lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice. The Gillocks’ complete failure to take any action for almost a year in furtherance of their lawsuit, including their failures to respond to discovery requests and obey the trial court’s order without any reasonable explanation, supports the trial court’s implicit legal conclusion that their claim was unreasonable and groundless. Denies the city’s request for appellate attorney fees and costs.  

Freddie L. McKnight, III v. State of Indiana
20A03-1109-CR-454
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. McKnight claimed the post-conviction court erred when it concluded he wasn’t denied effective trial or appellate counsel assistance and that he was denied a procedurally fair post-conviction hearing.

Brad Haskin v. City of Madison, Indiana
39A05-1308-CT-422
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for the city of Madison on Haskin’s complaint for damages, alleging the city was negligent in designing, constructing and maintaining a sewer drain on which Haskin stepped and injured himself, among other claims. With respect to Haskin’s claim that the city was negligent in the design, construction or maintenance of the curb or sewer drain, the designated evidence demonstrates that Madison is immune from liability. With respect to Haskin’s other negligence claims, the designated evidence demonstrates that the city did not owe a duty to Haskin as it did not possess or control the condition of Jefferson Street at the time of his injury nor did it manage the pedestrian traffic or other aspects of the regatta.

Winston K. Wood v. State of Indiana
53A05-1208-CR-423
Criminal. Denial of Wood’s motion for discharge pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) was not error. There was sufficient evidence Wood violated Indiana Code 14-15-4-1, but Wood’s three convictions, arising as they did from one incident of leaving the scene, subjected him to double jeopardy. Accordingly vacates two of his convictions, one of the Class C felonies and the Class D felony, and remands to the trial court with instructions to refund the fines imposed for the vacated convictions. Judge Kirsch dissents.

Shawn L. Keesling v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1305-CR-540
Criminal. Affirms convictions of three counts of Class B felony robbery after pleading guilty but mentally ill. Remands for correction of sentencing order.

Marigold Overshiner and Earl Overshiner, Individually and as Parents and Guardians of their Minor Daughter, Kaitlyn Overshiner et al v. Anonymous Health Care Corp. et. al. (NFP)
67A01-1303-CT-110
Civil tort. Reverses dismissal with prejudice of the Overshiners’ medical malpractice action as they complied with the trial court order that they obtain new counsel within 90 days.

James Galloway v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1305-CR-260
Criminal. Affirms sentence for home improvement fraud: five counts as Class C felonies and three counts as Class D felonies, and being a habitual offender. Remands for the trial court to amend the abstract of judgment to show the habitual offender finding as an enhancement to Count I in Cause No. 1017.

Sophia Tompkins v. Kindred Nursing Centers, LLP, d/b/a Southwood Health and Rehabilitation Center (NFP)
84A05-1307-CT-348
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Southwood on Tompkins’ complaint for damages after falling and injuring herself while getting out of bed.

James Kucholick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A05-1305-CR-255
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Kucholick serve his suspended sentences.

David R. McClure v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1306-CR-491
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Jerry Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A01-1306-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

James R. Belcher, Sr. v. Sandra G. Belcher (NFP)
32A01-1305-DR-225
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court order removing a motorcycle from the marital estate and adjusting the disposition of other assets to bring the division of the marital assets back to a 50/50 division.

Willie Norman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1305-PC-270
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Tyler Burton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1306-CR-269
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury on a child.

Micha Seymour v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1305-CR-218
Criminal. Affirms adjudication as a habitual offender.

Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. v. G & G Construction Company of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1304-PL-169
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Herman & Kittle’s motion to dismiss a breach-of-contract claim against it.

Walter Rowley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1305-CR-402
Criminal. Affirms imposition of $200 drug interdiction fee following Rowley’s guilty plea to Class D felony possession of a controlled substance and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended.

Richard Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-373
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery with bodily injury.

Edward L. Humes v. State of Indiana (NFP)

39A01-1305-CR-211
Criminal. Affirms sentence, which included an enhancement for being a habitual substance offender, imposed for Class D felony possession of cocaine and Class A misdemeanors possession of a synthetic cannabinoid and resisting law enforcement.

James Pigg v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1210-CR-838
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct error, wherein Pigg moved for a change of judge following convictions of one count each of Class C and Class D felony battery.

Lightning Rod Mutual Insurance Company v. Todd A. Messner, an Incapacitated Adult, by his Permanent Co-Guardians and Next Friends, James A. Messner and Judith M. Messner (NFP)

20A03-1305-CT-188
Civil tort. Affirms trial court finding that the Messners’ policy with Lighting Rod Mutual Insurance Co. is ambiguous.

Jacob Stidham v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1211-CR-939
Criminal. Affirms trial court decision allowing the state to charge Stidham with Class B felony rape two days before his trial was to begin on other charges. Affirms convictions of rape and Class C felony confinement.

Richard Kozecar v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A04-1306-CR-263
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony receiving stolen property.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.W., Minor Child, C.C., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1305-JT-468
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: J.A. (Minor Child), and M.R. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
53A01-1307-JT-306
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Anthony Eugene Fields v. State of Indiana (NFP)
50A05-1304-CR-186
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine, Class D felony possession of meth, Class D felony possession of precursors with intent to manufacture, Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Carolyn Bostick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1305-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Megan Pierce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A03-1304-CR-151
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Tonya Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1303-CR-151
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony operating a vehicle while driving privileges were forfeited for life.

Tyson A. Hudson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1305-CR-178
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery on a pregnant woman and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Billye D. Gaulden v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1212-CR-651
Criminal. Re-affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony robbery.

Marteques L. Black v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1306-CR-276
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Harold Evans, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
17A04-1307-CR-338
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following guilty plea to Class C felony possession of methamphetamine.

Paul L. Mishler, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1209-PC-405
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court
Vern R. Grabbe v. Carroll County Assessor, Neda K. Duff
49T10-1206-TA-35
Tax. Finds the Indiana Board of Tax Review did not err in applying Grabbe’s 2009 agricultural property assessment to the 2010 tax year. The board’s determination that Grabbe’s 2010 assessment must be reduced to its 2009 assessed value is not contrary to law.

Vern R. Grabbe v. Carroll County Assessor, Neda K. Duff

49T10-1108-TA-51
Tax. Affirms 2009 assessment of Grabbe’s agricultural property. The board’s determination upholding the 2009 assessment is supported by substantial and reliable evidence and is not contrary to law.  

The Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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