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Opinions Jan. 24, 2014

January 24, 2014
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Indiana Tax Court
William W. Thorsness v. Porter County Assessor
49T10-1102-TA-14
Tax. Affirms final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review regarding Thorsness’ 2007 real property assessment. The burden-shifting rule contained in Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-1(p) and its progeny applies only to valuation challenges, not to uniform and equal constitutional challenges. Concludes that the Indiana Board of Tax Review did not err by determining that Thorsness’ ratio study did not demonstrate that the assessor’s assessment lacked uniformity.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Saral Reed and Durham School Services, Inc. v. Richard Bethel
49A02-1301-CT-9
Civil. Affirms a $3.9 million jury verdict in favor of Richard Bethel, who was struck by a school bus as he rode a bicycle to school. The appellate panel held that Reed and Durham were not deprived of a fair trial, that evidence the jury considered was properly admitted, and that the jury’s damages award is supported by evidence in the record.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Kimberly S. Earl and The Estate of Jerry Earl
36A05-1212-CT-635
Civil. Reverses a trial court award of $250,000 in favor of Earl and the estate and remands for a new trial, holding in a 2-1 opinion that evidence of the limits for an uninsured motorist policy was prejudicial to State Farm and should be ruled inadmissible as has been done in states such as Florida and Nebraska. Judge Patricia Riley dissents and would affirm the trial court, writing that prejudicial error is not established merely because the jury awarded the policy limit, but rather the jury awarded the policy limit in light of overwhelming evidence.

Jeffrey A. Cleary v. State of Indiana
45A03-1212-CR-518
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony causing death when operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content over 0.15 and various lesser counts for which a 14-year sentence was imposed. The court rejected Cleary’s claim that his conviction in a retrial after a judge denied his request for a directed verdict constituted double jeopardy. Judge Terry Crone dissented, finding that the court should have entered judgment on a conviction of a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge after Cleary’s first trial, and that the retrial was a violation of his Article I, Section 14 protections against double jeopardy under the Indiana Constitution.

Roberta Himes v. Bruce Thompson (NFP)
71A05-1305-CT-210
Civil. Affirms jury damages verdict of $13,600 in favor of Roberta Himes resulting for an auto collision.

Jess G. Revercomb, Sr. v. Yellow Book Sales and Distribution Company, Inc. (NFP)
49A02-1305-CC-447
Collection. Affirms trial court judgment that Revercomb assumed liability as both a corporate representative and a personal guarantor when he signed advertising contracts with Yellow Book on behalf of a construction company.

Randall Capatina v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1304-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms four-year executed sentence for conviction of Class C felony disarming a law-enforcement officer.
 
Jerry Dillon v. State of Indiana, Burton A. Padove, Laurie Leber, and Patricia Pitcher (NFP)
45A05-1304-CT-165
Civil tort. Affirms dismissal of Dillon’s complaint.

Jason Halcomb v. State of Indiana (NFP)
69A01-1306-CR-280
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and 40-year sentence. Judge Elaine Brown dissents, finding the sentence inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and Halcomb’s character, and would sentence him to no more than the advisory term.

Wesley Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1305-CR-467
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

In the Matter of: N.W. (minor child), a Child in Need of Services; A.B. (Mother) and No.W. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
53A04-1307-JC-335
Juvenile. Affirms determination that N.W. is a child in need of services.

Timothy Michael v. Gene Chandler (NFP)
20A04-1306-SC-300
Small claims. Affirms judgment of $5,697.50 in favor of Chandler.

Michael Sakha v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1305-PC-425
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from a 50-year sentence for Class A convictions of attempted murder, attempted robbery and misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Carlton Hillman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1305-CR-241
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: O.M. and T.M. (Minor Children), and B.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
42A01-1303-JT-152
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Indiana Supreme Court issued no opinions by IL deadline.
7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.

 

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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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