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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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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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