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Opinions Feb. 9, 2011

February 9, 2011
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday.
Indiana Supreme Court
Nicholas Green v. Ford Motor Company
94S00-1007-CQ-348
Certified question. Concludes in a crashworthiness case alleging enhanced injuries under the Indiana Product Liability Act, it is the function of the fact-finder to consider and evaluate the conduct of all relevant actors who are alleged to have caused or contributed to cause the harm for which the plaintiff seeks damages. The fact-finder shall apportion fault to the injured person only if the fact-finder concludes that the fault of the injured person is a proximate cause of the injuries for which damages are sought.

Indiana Tax Court
Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division v. In the Matter of the Estate of Deloras J. Biddle
49T10-1007-TA-35
Tax. Reverses probate court decision that the estate was not required to file an inheritance tax return because the checks issued by MetLife to Biddle’s brother were life insurance proceeds and not annuity contract payments. The probate court provided no reasoning, nor cited any other evidence which would support its conclusion that the MetLife payments to Biddle’s brother were life insurance proceeds. Remands to order the estate to provide a copy of the MetLife contracts so that it may be determined whether the estate was indeed required to file an Indiana inheritance tax return and remit inheritance tax on the transfers to Biddle’s brother.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Dept. of State Revenue v. Belterra Resort Indiana, LLC
49S10-1010-TA-519
Tax. Grants rehearing to address the question of whether Belterra is subject to a tax penalty. Remands to the Indiana Tax Court to determine the timeliness of Belterra’s argument and, if timely, whether Belterra is subject to the penalty and, if so, whether the penalty should be waived. Affirms original opinion in all other respects. Justice Dickson concurs in result, believing the rehearing should also be granted to revisit the previous decision on the “step transaction” issue.

Noe Romo v. State of Indiana
49S04-1009-CR-499
Criminal. Affirms the trial court did not err in admitting the translation transcripts of conversations recorded in Spanish between Romo and a police informant. The written English translations of foreign language recordings may be admitted as substantive evidence, and the recordings themselves generally should be admitted and played as well, but under the circumstances in the instant case, the failure to play the Spanish recordings is not a reversible error. Summarily affirms the Indiana Court of Appeals on all other issues.

Indiana Court of Appeals had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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