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Opinions Feb. 24, 2011

February 24, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
French C. Mason v. State of Indiana
49A02-1005-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies resisting law enforcement and unlawful use of body armor. The trial court had sufficient evidence to show Mason resisted law enforcement and his crime rose to the Class D felony level and to conclude Mason intended to wear body armor in the aid of the felony of resisting law enforcement through the use of a vehicle.

Gayle Fischer v. Michael and Noel Heymann/ Michael and Noel Heymann v. Caryn J. Craig, et al.  
49A04-1004-PL-231
Civil plenary. Reverses judgment in favor of the Heymanns that Fischer reimburses the Heymanns’ earnest money deposit to purchase Fischer’s condominium and pay their litigation costs and attorney fees. The trial court clearly erred in concluding the property’s electrical concerns constituted “major defects” as defined in the purchase agreement. The substantive findings in the inspection report do not support an objectively reasonable belief that the defect was major. Remands for determination of damages owed to Fischer and reasonable attorneys fees to be awarded to her. Judge Elaine Brown dissents.

Stephanie L. Cotton v. Charles C. Cotton
43A03-1005-DR-325
Domestic relation. Reverses denial of Stephanie’s motion to set aside the decree of dissolution that the court had entered dissolving the Cottons’ marriage. The summons served on Stephanie was insufficient as a matter of law for the court to exercise personal jurisdiction over her, therefore, the decree is void. Remands for further proceedings.

In the Matter of the Adoption of M.B.; Je.B. v. Ja.B.
39A01-1007-AD-366
Adoption. Affirms order dismissing stepfather Je.B.’s petition to adopt M.B. without the consent of her natural father, Ja.B. The stepfather didn’t meet his burden of showing that the natural father’s consent is not required for the adoption and the trial court didn’t err when it denied and dismissed his petition to adopt M.B. without the father’s consent.

Bruce Fox v. Dennis Rice, et al.
54A01-1003-PL-97
Civil plenary. Grants rehearing to clarify that Fox’s false imprisonment ended when he was served with an arrest warrant and that Willis lacked final policymaking authority. Affirms original opinion in all respects.

Frank A. Workman, M.D., et al. v. Ann O'Bryan
29A05-1003-PL-169
Civil plenary. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the denial of Dr. Workman’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of statute of limitations in a medical malpractice suit brought by O’Bryan. O’Bryan met her burden to show, at least, an issue of material fact as to whether she filed her proposed complaint within a reasonable time.

Phillip Collier v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1007-CR-401
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

R.M. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1004-EX-364
Civil. Affirms decision that R.M. was discharged for just cause and not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of W.C., et al.; D.C. v. IDCS (NFP)
57A03-1006-JT-350
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Timothy Huffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1008-CR-452
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Bernard Pettis v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons (NFP)
93A02-1003-EX-392
Civil. Affirms decision of the Full Worker’s Compensation Board that affirmed the decision of a hearing member awarding Pettis more than $19,000 in temporary total disability benefits.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of B.G.; H.G. v. IDCS (NFP)
52A02-1007-JT-854
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Curtis Westbrook v. Nye's Wrecker Service (NFP)
18A02-1004-SC-451
Small claims. Affirms judgment denying Westbrook’s claim against Ney’s Wrecker Service arising from the impounding of Westbrook’s vehicle.

Jesus D. Russell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1009-CR-443
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony burglary and one count of Class C felony criminal recklessness.

Richard Oldfield, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
69A01-1007-CR-408
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Oldfield serve the suspended portion of his sentence.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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