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Opinions Dec. 7, 2010

December 7, 2010
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The following opinion was posted after yesterday’s deadline:

Indiana Tax Court

Shelby County Assessor v. Shelby’s Landing-II, LP (NFP)
49T10-1004-TA-17
Tax. Affirms the final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that valued Shelby’s Landing - II LP’s two apartment complexes at $3,742,500 for the 2006 tax year (the year at issue). At issue was whether the Indiana Board’s final determination was arbitrary and capricious or not supported by substantial evidence.

Today’s opinions

Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

M.S. v. C.S.
03A01-1003-DR-140
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order to vacate a previous order granting M.S. joint legal custody of and parenting time with S.S., a child born to C.S., M.S.’s former domestic partner of more than 10 years. M.S. appealed and raised three issues: whether the trial court erred in vacating its prior custody and visitation order; whether the trial court abused its discretion by modifying custody of S.S. without a petition to modify or a showing of a substantial change in circumstances; and whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying M.S. parenting time.

Nikki Brindle v. Patrick J. Arata
02A05-1004-SC-239
Small claims. Reverses and remands trial court’s determination that certain funds in Brindle’s bank account that were from a student loan were subject to attachment to satisfy a judgment in favor of appellee-plaintiff Patrick Arata. Appellate court concludes that student loan funds at issue here may not be attached to satisfy a judgment.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.S.O.; S.O. v. Indiana Department of Child Services
64A05-1005-JT-304
Juvenile. Reverses trial court’s involuntary termination of father’s parental rights to his minor child. Majority of appellate court panel concluded the trial court’s order violated the father’s due process rights because the Porter County division of IDCS was aware of his whereabouts, even though the father was in jail and the child had been removed from the mother’s care.

Donald E. Williams v. State of Indiana
49A05-1004-CR-224
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in home detention. Williams raised one issue: whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting a urinalysis report and a home detention monitoring report into evidence.

Paul Schulz v. Karen Spoor (NFP)
64A03-1005-PO-316
Protective order. Affirms order of protection against Schulz that Spoor filed against him.

Brian K. Ruby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1007-CR-730
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing methamphetamine, Class A felony dealing cocaine, Class B felony dealing a schedule III controlled substance, Class C felony dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance, and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Billy J. Lemond v. Allan Finnan, et al. (NFP)
48A02-1005-SC-595
Small claims. Reverses and remands small claims court’s dismissal of Lemond’s claim against the Pendleton Correctional Facility. The appellate court concluded Lemond had a sufficient claim against PCF, but not the individual employees.

Erica Williams-Darden v. State of Indiana (NFP)

71A03-1005-CR-268
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed after Williams-Darden pleaded guilty to theft, a class D felony; and battery, a class B misdemeanor.

State of Indiana Department of Family Services, et al. v. J.D., et al. (NFP)
82A04-1006-CT-364
Civil tort. Reverses and remands trial court’s order denying Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office’s motion to set aside the default judgment entered in favor of the appellees-plaintiffs on the appellees’ complaint against VCPO and other defendants. Concludes VCPO met its burden under Trial Rule 60.

Scott R. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1006-PC-668
Post-conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Christopher Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1002-CR-138
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony causing death while operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent greater than 0.08 and Class B felony causing death while operating a motor vehicle with cocaine in the blood.

Jose Caballero v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1003-CR-367
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony criminal confinement, Class C felony battery, and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Carol Long-Switalski v. Wendeline Switalski (NFP)
71A05-1004-CC-270
Civil. Reverses and remands for recalculation of Wendeline’s damages to exclude charges from restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores, which he authorized Carol to make on his credit card.

Ronald Cox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-494
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony prisoner possessing dangerous device or material.

Rick J. Deeter v. Haynes International, Inc. (NFP)
34A02-1004-PL-395
Civil. Affirms trial court’s order granting the motion to dismiss filed by Haynes International, Inc.

Emilio Mitchell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-480
Criminal. Affirms conviction of resisting law enforcement, a Class D felony.

Elbert Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-CR-440
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class D felony.

Jeffrey Leonard McCrory v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1003-CR-177
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for burglary, a Class B felony; and theft, a Class D felony.

Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals v. Lamar Advertising Northwest Indiana (NFP)
64A04-1003-PL-186
Civil. Affirms trial court’s approval of an improvement location permit sought by Lamar Advertising Northwest Indiana.

Keith Billingsley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1003-PC-207
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Charles J. Gooch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-CR-382
Criminal. Affirms conviction of dealing in a controlled substance, a Class B felony.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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)

  2. "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.

  3. 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.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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