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Opinions Jan. 31, 2011

January 31, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Cynthia L. Foley v. Robert L. Schwartz and Danny L. Collins
78A04-1005-CT-305
Civil tort. Reverses grant of Schwartz’s motion to dismiss Foley’s complaint following an ATV accident on Collins’ property. The trial court erred when it granted Schwartz’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Remands for further proceedings.

JK Harris & Co. v. Ronald Sandlin
49A05-1003-CT-184
Civil tort. Affirms denial of JK Harris’ motions to set aside default judgment and class certification. JK Harris received adequate notice of the proceedings, and waived its right to compel arbitration. Remands for a new evidentiary hearing to define the plaintiff class with more specificity.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of D.B.; W.B. v. IDCS and Lake County CASA
45A03-1005-JT-285
Juvenile. Reveres involuntary termination of father W.B.’s parental rights to his child D.B. Given the circumstances before the court, this case hasn’t reached the “last resort” stage to terminate the relationship. Remands for further proceedings under the juvenile court’s previous child in need of services orders.

Merle R. Webb v. State of Indiana
49A02-1006-CR-650
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to driving while suspended as a Class A misdemeanor, robbery as a Class B felony, six counts of fraud as Class D felonies, and two counts of attempted fraud as Class D felonies. As Webb pled guilty to all charges without the benefit of a plea agreement, the trial court should have identified his guilty plea as a mitigating factor. However, the trial court would not have imposed a lesser sentence even if it had explicitly identified his guilty plea as a mitigating factor. Webb has not established that his sentence is inappropriate.

R.M. v. Second Injury Fund
93A02-1007-EX-792
Civil. Reverses order of the Full Worker’s Compensation Board that determined R.M. is entitled to receive benefits from the Second Injury Fund beginning with the 501st week after the date of his workplace injury. R.M. should be entitled to receive benefits from the fund beginning with the week following the effective exhaustion of his worker’s compensation benefits.

John M. Norris v. State of Indiana
64A05-1003-CR-168
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder. The trial court did not err in refusing to instruct the jury on involuntary manslaughter and there is sufficient evidence to prove that Norris knowingly or intentionally killed his long-term live-in girlfriend.

Brett Zagorac v. State of Indiana
45A03-0910-CR-481
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct error following the summary denial of Zagorac’s petition to expunge his arrest record. He hasn’t show the summary denial was an abuse of the trial court’s “almost unfettered discretion” to deny his petition nor can he succeed with his argument that the expungement statute violates the Indiana Constitution as he waived that argument for appeal.

Charleen (Turi) King v. Kenneth Robert Turi (NFP)
82A01-1006-DR-267
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of King’s motion to correct error following the court’s ruling on her information for indirect contempt. Remands for a hearing on appellate attorney fee damages.

Daniel J. Hooper v. Donna J. Smith (NFP)
32A01-1009-DR-439
Domestic relation. Reverses order granting Smith’s “motion for acceptance of jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.”

Roy A. Selby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
63A01-1005-CR-235
Criminal. Affirms convictions of child molesting, one count as a Class A felony and one count as a Class C felony, and 50-year aggregate sentence.

Gary G. Lane v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1007-CR-346
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following revocation of probation.

G.W. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1004-EX-542
Civil. Affirms denial of claim for full unemployment benefits.

Katherine Weber v. Carrie Schlichtenmyer (NFP)
02A03-1008-PL-460
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Schlichtenmyer as personal representative of the estate of Gerald Schlichtenmyer on Weber’s claim asserting the estate owed her money for personal services rendered to Gerald before his death.

Marty B. Beard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
12A02-1001-CR-423
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance but reverses the Class D felony conviction of possession of precursors. Affirms sentence enhancement imposed due to habitual substance offender status. Remands for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of Ca.K and Co.K.; J.S. v. I.D.C.S. ad Monroe County CASA (NFP)
53A05-1006-JT-345
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Dorian L. Harris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1004-CR-258
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felonies burglary and robbery.

Virgil Austin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1007-CR-868
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after license forfeited for life, Class D felony resisting law enforcement, and Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness.

R.K. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-JV-343
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana if committed by an adult.

Jackie Joiner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1005-CR-249
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.

A.C., et al., Alleged to be CHINS; D.B. v. IDCS and Child Advocates (NFP)
49A05-1002-JC-154
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of A.C. as a child in need of services. Remands for the court to remove reference to E.C. from the order that D.B. establish paternity.

Tiffany Shelman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1006-CR-664
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Scott A. Hesser v. Wendy S. Hesser (NFP)
71A05-1004-DR-300
Domestic relation. Affirms division of marital property.

Conan L. Helsley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A05-1006-CR-402
Criminal. Affirms order denying Helsley’s motion for discharge pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) and remands for trial.

James Daher, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
56A03-1006-CR-315
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony conspiracy to commit escape with a deadly weapon.

Gregory Barkdull v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1004-CR-218
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and 9-year sentence for Class D felony operation a vehicle while intoxicated, Class C infraction speeding, and determination he is an habitual substance offender.

T.B. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1003-EX-535
Civil. Affirms Review Board’s affirmation of an administrative law judge’s decision finding T.B. was terminated for good cause.

Adoption of D.M.C., et al.; D.L.C. v. Chr.P. and Cha.P. (NFP)
43A03-1007-AD-370
Adoption. Affirms adoption by stepfather Chr.P.

D.A. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1006-JV-448
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent for committing what would be two counts of Class B felony child molesting if committed by an adult.

Company v. Review Board, K.S. (NFP)
93A02-1007-EX-765
Civil. Affirms decision to grant unemployment benefits to K.S.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of S.S.; B.S. & T.S. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
15A05-1006-JT-406
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

David Farmer, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A05-1008-CR-512
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Charles D. Lamphier v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1006-CR-335
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to operating a motor vehicle after driving privileges had been forfeited for life as a Class C felony.

Monica M. Emmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
30A05-1004-CR-414
Criminal. Affirms trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in allowing a brief continuance or in admitting audio recordings. Reverses trial court award of credit time and remands with instructions to recalculate the amount of credit time.

Charles Vernon Nute, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1007-CR-828
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony child solicitation and one count of Class C felony child molesting.

Kaouthar Chamem v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1004-CR-214
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court granted one transfer and denied 12 for the week ending Jan. 28.
 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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