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Opinions Jan. 11, 2012

January 11, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Daniel E. Serban v. State of Indiana
02A03-1106-CR-285
Criminal. Declines to revise Serban’s 11-year sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony corrupt business influence and Class D felony theft. Serban failed to demonstrate his sentence is inappropriate, and his stealing from his clients injured not only them, but also the legal profession.

Nicholas Williams v. State of Indiana
49A02-1103-CR-266
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s grant of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy’s motion to quash Williams’ subpoena for a certified copy of “any and all” of Williams’ prescription records. The confidentiality provisions of the applicable statute were enacted to protect Williams’ physician-patient privilege and pharmacist-patient privilege and he waived those privileges by requesting his prescription records in the exercise of his constitutional right to present a complete defense to the charged crimes. Williams’ request is sufficiently particular, the requested information is material to his defense, not all the information requested would be available from his doctors and the board has failed to show a paramount interest in not disclosing the information.

Dave's Excavating, Inc. and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. City of New Castle, Indiana
33A04-1104-PL-199
Civil plenary. Affirms two orders entered granting summary judgment to New Castle in its suit against Dave’s Excavating on breach of a construction contract and against Liberty Mutual under a performance bond. Dave’s refusal to resume work on the project constituted a breach of construction contract, and Liberty Mutual did not show that it asserted its rights to elect how to mitigate damages “promptly.”

Anthony J. Rehl, Sr. and Bessie A. Rehl v. Robert V. Billetz and Joy A. Billetz
52A05-1105-PL-246
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of the Billetzes regarding an access easement. The trial court did not err in making its findings of facts related to the relative use or increased use of the easement area and interference with the use of the Rehl property.

Clark County Drainage Board and Clark County Board of Commissioners v. Robert Isgrigg
10A05-1102-PL-68
Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part summary judgment for Isgrigg. Isgrigg, in his official capacity as county surveyor, had standing to seek declaratory relief from the Clark County Drainage Board’s actions. The drainage board’s subdivision project didn’t establish a regulated drain under Indiana Code, and therefore, the board wasn’t required to utilize the county surveyor. The board’s removal of an obstruction from a natural watercourse without the county surveyor’s participation did violate Indiana Code.

Charles Lawrence, Sr. v. State of Indiana
02A03-1105-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms murder conviction. The state presented sufficient substantive evidence to establish that Lawrence was in his sister’s apartment around the time of the shooting and had the opportunity to commit murder.

Shandaleigha M. Tharp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1105-CR-292
Criminal. Vacates Tharp’s aggregate 27-year sentence following a guilty plea for various offenses, including forgery, burglary, and theft and imposes an aggregate sentence of 19.5 years, with 14.5 executed and five years suspended.

Diyon Evans v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1104-CR-227
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony rape and Class B felony criminal deviate conduct.

Arnold W. Cook v. Consolidated Roofing, Inc. (NFP)
34A02-1104-CC-339
Civil collection. Affirms judgment substantially in favor of Consolidated Roofing on Cook’s complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief and damages.

Vincent Barrett and Sarah Barrett v. City of Logansport, Indiana; Michael Nicoll, in his capacity as Sexton of Mount Hope Cemetery; and James McDonald (NFP)
09A02-1103-PL-252
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Logansport, Nicoll and McDonald on the Barretts’ claims for negligence, breach of contract, fraud and injunctive relief.

R.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
71A03-1107-JT-309
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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