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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. 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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