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
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.  
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
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.
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.
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
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)
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

R.M. v. Review Board (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Timothy Huffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Bernard Pettis v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Curtis Westbrook v. Nye's Wrecker Service (NFP)
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)
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)
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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.