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Opinions Feb. 28, 2013

February 28, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Verdyer Clark v. State of Indiana
49A04-1202-CR-66
Criminal. Grants rehearing for clarification and affirms in all respects. Holds that the determination whether the age of a perpetrator is relevant to a child victim’s medical diagnosis or treatment is best left to another case.

David A. Turner v. Debbie L. Turner
85A02-1208-DR-704
Domestic relation. Reverses order denying David Turner’s petition to terminate child support for his 19-year-old child filed based on a change in Indiana Code 31-16-6-6. The trial court’s failure to follow the law as set forth by the Legislature was an abuse of discretion, and the court had no discretion to extend the father’s duty to pay child support beyond what is required by the law.

Alexander Nikolayev v. Natalia Nikolayev

49A05-1207-DR-372
Domestic relation. Affirms child support and property division orders in the Nikolayevs’ dissolution of marriage. The trial court did not err in ordering that the entire amount of Alexander Nikolayev’s salary and regular bonuses be treated as weekly gross income for the purposes of determining his child support obligation.

James E. Mefford v. State of Indiana

15A04-1208-CR-394
Criminal. Affirms 100-year aggregate sentence for Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony dealing in a schedule II controlled substance. Mefford failed to persuade the judges that his sentence is inappropriate.

Eagle Aircraft, Inc. v. Anthony Trojnar

64A04-1207-SC-386
Small claim. Affirms small claims judgment in favor of Trojnar and the denial in part of Eagle Aircraft’s motion to correct errors. The trial court’s ruling that Trojnar demonstrated extenuating circumstances was not clearly erroneous and Trojnar was not unjustly enriched by the court’s order.

Joseph E. Sanders v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1208-CR-372
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for Class D felony domestic battery and Class D felony escape.

Donald W. Campbell v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A04-1109-CR-473
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for murder.

Jennifer Simpson v. Donald Simpson (NFP)
02A03-1204-DR-168
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Jennifer Simpson’s motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Ind. Trial Rule 60(B).

Loren H. Fry v. Terry L. Schroder and Robert C. Schroder, Individually and as beneficiaries and personal representatives of the Estate of David H. Schroder (NFP)
09A02-1206-CT-474
Civil tort. Affirms order denying Fry’s motion to stay the civil proceedings brought against him by the Schroders, individually and as beneficiaries and personal representatives of the estate.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.M. and J.H., Jr.: K.M., Mother of K.M. and J.H., Jr.; M.M., Father of K.M.; and J.H., Sr., Father of J.H., Jr. (NFP)
20A04-1206-JT-334
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Anthony Szuch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1208-CR-403
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Larry Collins, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1206-PC-319
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Frederick James Burton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1208-CR-426
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order that Burton serve entire previously suspended sentence, with credit for time served.

Bret Shaw v. Bryan C. Jerman (NFP)
49A02-1203-PL-164
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Jerman and remands for further proceedings on Shaw’s lawsuit after he was denied insurance coverage for losses claimed after a burglary.

F.E. v. J.E. (NFP)
55A01-1207-DR-311
Domestic relation. Affirms in part, reverses in part the decree and property disposition order in the dissolution of marriage and remands for further proceedings.

F.G. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A04-1208-JV-415
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication that F.G. committed what would be Class D felony intimidation if committed by an adult.

Danny Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)
59A01-1205-CR-203
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B misdemeanors public intoxication and disorderly conduct and remands for the trial court to apply any credit time earned to the suspended portion of Clark’s sentence. Judge Melissa May concurs in result.

In Re the Paternity of: B.V.L., S.B. v. B.L. (NFP)
48A02-1206-JP-491
Juvenile. Affirms grant of custody of B.V.L. to father B.L.

Jeramie Rangel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

27A05-1206-CR-308
Criminal. Affirms sentence following conviction of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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