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Opinions Feb. 13, 2014

February 13, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Brian Yost v. Wabash College, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity- Indiana Gamma Chapter at Wabash College, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Nathan Cravens
54S01-1303-CT-161
Civil tort. Reverses grant of summary judgment for the campus fraternity but affirms summary judgment for the college and national fraternity organization in the personal injury action brought by a fraternity pledge seeking damages for injuries sustained in an incident at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. Holds that the designated evidence shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that Wabash College and the national fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., are each entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law, but that as to the local fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity – Indiana Gamma Chapter at Wabash College, there remain genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgment. Justice Rucker concurs in part and dissents in part. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana, acting on behalf of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration v. International Business Machines Corporation
49A02-1211-PL-875
Civil plenary. Reverses finding that there was no material breach by IBM, but affirms award of $40 million in assignment fees and $9,510,795 in equipment fees to IBM. Affirms the trial court’s denial of deferred fees to IBM, reverses the trial court’s award of $2,570,621 in early termination close out payments and $10,632,333 in prejudgment interest to IBM, and remands the case to the trial court to determine the amount of fees IBM is entitled to for Change Orders 119 and 133. Remands the case to the trial court to determine the state’s damages for IBM’s material breach of the contract and to offset any damages awarded to IBM. Judge Friedlander concurs in part and dissents in part.

Wendy Thompson v. State of Indiana
61A01-1305-CR-207
Criminal. Affirms convictions and seven-year consecutive sentence for four counts of Class D felony operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 causing serious bodily injury. This Class D felony is a “crime of violence” within the meaning of I.C. 35-5-1-2(a), so her sentence does not exceed the maximum allowable under the consecutive-sentencing statute. Finds her sentence appropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and her character.

Rodregus Morgan v. State of Indiana
49A02-1304-CR-386
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Holds the challenged portion of Indiana’s public intoxication statute is unconstitutionally vague as it neither requires that a defendant specifically intended to annoy another, nor does it employ an objective standard to assess whether a defendant’s conduct would be annoying to a reasonable person. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Larry Edward Flick v. Jewell Reuter
47A01-1303-PL-135
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Reuter on claims of adverse possession, prescriptive easement and trespass. Reuter is unable to prove she paid taxes on the land since 1988. Affirms awarding her nearly $30,000 in damages caused by Flick in his attempts to evict her from the land he purchased in a foreclosure sale.

Detrick L. Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1309-CR-455
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Duane Fry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-544
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Elgin Lamont Hoyle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1307-CR-363
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug.

Andrew T. Stout v. State of Indiana (NFP)
62A01-1305-CR-222
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to withdraw guilty pleas for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Wabash County Hospital Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Wabash County Hospital and Carole Riley v. Hai Lee (NFP)
85A04-1306-CT-291
Civil tort. Affirms denial of appellants’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

Charles Poling v. Property Owners Insurance Company (NFP)
27A02-1307-PL-585
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Poling’s request to amend his complaint for a second time and dismissal of the Poling’s lawsuit.

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

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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