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Opinions Feb. 23, 2011

February 23, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Debra K. Sands v. Helen HCI, LLC
06A01-1005-CC-231
Civil collections. Reverses denial of Sands’ motion to enforce a settlement agreement between herself, Helen HCI LLC and two other companies, providing for dismissal with prejudice of Helen HCI’s complaint against Sands in Indiana and dismissal with prejudice of Sands’ complaint against Helen HCI and the other companies in a Wisconsin suit. The parties entered into a binding contract which required the subsequent execution of a document memorializing their agreement and there is no uncertainty as to any substantial term of the settlement contract.

Sutton Funding, LLC v. Janusz Jaworski, First Midwest, et al./First Midwest Bank v. Sutton Funding
49A02-1006-MF-709
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses summary judgment for First Midwest Bank and Janusz Jaworski in its complaint to foreclose on the 2004 mortgage and its assertion that it was in first lien position on the property. Sutton Funding also filed a complaint to foreclose against Jaworski and First Midwest on the 2007 mortgage, which it had financed on the same property, and note. Indiana Code Section 32-29-6-13 requires Sutton Funding be provided with a release of the mortgage at issue and that summary judgment be granted in its favor.  

Steven E. Coates v. Heat Wagons, Inc., et al.
64A03-1004-PL-232
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of a preliminary injunction against Coates and in favor of Heat Wagons and Manufacturers Products (MPI). The trial court did not err in determining that MPI faced a risk of irreparable harm and lacked adequate remedy at law as a result of any breach by Coates of the covenant not to compete. It also did not err in determining that MPI has a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of its case. Reverses part of order enjoining any use by Coates of the Web address www.heatersandparts.com and the red “H&P” logo because restrictions are overly broad. Judge James Kirsch dissents.

Ronald A. Steenbeke v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1006-CR-344
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class B misdemeanor failure to stop after damage to property other than a vehicle.

Roy Kresel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A02-1010-CR-1190
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony aggravated battery.

Dorris Merriweather, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1008-CR-514
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to one count of Class A felony attempted murder and two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Michael S. Polites v. State of Indiana (NFP)
68A01-1004-CR-150
Criminal. Affirms partial denial of Polites’ motion to suppress.

State of Indiana v. Jason Patton (NFP)
66A03-1008-CR-476
Criminal. Reverses grant of Patton’s motion for discharge and remands for further proceedings.

Oscar Delatorre v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1008-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

Robert Beeler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1007-CR-456
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony intimidation.

Daniel W. Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A05-1007-CR-540
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony operating a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic violator and Class D felony invasion of privacy.

M.C. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1007-JV-843
Juvenile. Affirms determination that M.C. committed what would be Class B felony robbery if committed by an adult.

Billy James Huff, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A05-1010-CR-659
Criminal. Revises Huff’s sentence following guilty plea to Class D felonies possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia. Remands for his two-year sentences to be served consecutively.

William Smith v. Arbor Woods Apartments (NFP)
25A03-1005-CT-262
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Arbor Woods Apartments in Smith’s suit after he fell on ice in front of his apartment. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Brown dissents.

James C. Gaskill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
86A03-1008-CR-563
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony aggravated battery.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at 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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