Opinions Feb. 21, 2011

February 21, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Joshua Burke v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary. Indiana Code Section 35-43-2-1(1)(B)(ii), which enhances burglary from a Class C felony to Class B felony if the building or structure burgled is used for religious worship, does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment or Article 1, Section 4 of the Indiana Constitution.

Sheree Demming v. Cheryl Underwood and Kenneth Kinney
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Underwood and Kinney on Demming’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud, as well as her request for the imposition of a constructive trust. The designated evidentiary materials create a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Demming exercised sufficient control over Underwood’s activities to support the existence of an agency relationship and whether Underwood breached a common law fiduciary duty owed to Demming. Remands for further proceedings.

Jammy Daniels v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Reverses decision to decline to vacate Daniels’ habitual-offender sentencing enhancements. Remands for re-sentencing.

Donald Baker III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanors battery and trespass.

Jimmy Vance v. Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NFP)
Civil collections. Affirms judgment ordering Vance to pay Caesars Entertainment $75,000, money advanced to him from his established line of credit to gamble at the casino.

Joe E. Smitson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C misdemeanors operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or greater, which were later enhanced to Class D felonies after Smitson pleaded guilty to felony enhancements after he was convicted.

Kenneth Bradley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and execution of remainder of suspended sentence.

Juan Stallworth v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies battery and intimidation and Class A misdemeanors criminal recklessness and driving while suspended.

Rick Delon v. Timothy Rallings, et al. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of the Rallings on their complaint for breach of contract in the sale of residential real estate.

Eric Welch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 71-year sentence for four counts of Class A child molesting, three counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, and Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.G.; P.D.G. v. IDCS, Vanderburgh County Office (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Paternity of W.H.; S.S. v. D.L.H. (NFP)
Juvenile. Dismisses appeal by S.S. of trial court’s finding that there exists a preset order for college expenses for his child and the mother has the right to file for amendment of that order.

Adoption of T.L.; D.F., K.F. v. M.J. (NFP)
Adoption. Affirms denial of D.F. and K.F.’s cross-petition for adoption of T.L. and grant of the petition for adoption filed by T.L.’s half brother.

Duane Walters v. Home Bank, S.B., et al. (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses judgment of foreclosure and remands for further proceedings. Affirms the partial summary judgment upon the note borrowing money from Home Bank.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.J. and H.J.; H.A. v. IDCS (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Scott Malott v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for murder and Class B felony confinement.

Randall Spears v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues