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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
49A02-1006-CR-660
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
53A01-1005-PL-252
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)
20A05-1006-PC-359
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)
49A05-1006-CR-349
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanors battery and trespass.

Jimmy Vance v. Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NFP)
31A04-1007-CC-501
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)
82A04-1004-CR-248
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)
34A04-1009-CR-595
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and execution of remainder of suspended sentence.

Juan Stallworth v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1007-CR-401
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)
34A04-1006-PL-355
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)
27A02-1007-CR-893
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)
82A05-1007-JT-465
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Paternity of W.H.; S.S. v. D.L.H. (NFP)
35A02-1008-JP-987
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)
49A04-1005-AD-310
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)
55A01-1005-MF-193
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)
64A03-1007-JT-358
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Scott Malott v. State of Indiana (NFP)
54A04-1006-CR-356
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for murder and Class B felony confinement.

Randall Spears v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1007-CR-726
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. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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