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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. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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