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Opinions July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday
Indiana Supreme Court

The Kroger Co. v. Lu Ann B. Plonski
49S02-0907-CV-347
Civil. Affirms denial of Kroger’s motion for summary judgment on Plonski’s complaint for damages for negligence after she was attacked in the store’s parking lot. The trial court erred in granting her motion to strike Kroger affidavits on criminal activity within the past 2 years and by allowing her to introduce the police reports for the ostensible purpose of supporting her motion. The burden is on Kroger to demonstrate that the assault was not foreseeable, which they did not do.

Curtis F. Sample v. State of Indiana
45S03-1006-CR-338
Criminal. Affirms Sample’s convictions and sentence for attempted murder and criminal confinement. Vacates habitual finding adjudication and remands for new habitual offender phase of trial. Because the trial court provided over Sample’s objection an instruction that minimized the jury’s power of discretion in making a determination on habitual offender status, and provided a “law and facts” instruction that rendered meaningless the jury’s Article I, Section 19 authority, the trial court committed reversible error. Sample is entitled to have the habitual offender adjudication vacated.

Luis E. Duran v. State of Indiana
45S03-0910-CR-430
Criminal. Entry into Duran’s home violated both the state and federal constitutions and the evidence of drugs must be suppressed. The information available to the arresting officers didn’t satisfy even the least-restrictive reasonable suspicion standard.

Subhen Ghosh v. Indiana State Ethics Commission and Office of the Inspector General
32S01-0910-CV-504
Civil. Holds that a 2005 amendment authorized State Employee Appeals Commission to consider ethical violations among other grounds for termination in conducting this review, but did not otherwise affect the general rule that the Ethics Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the state Ethics Code. Ghosh’s attempt to review his termination by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in this subsequent Ethics Commission proceeding is therefore barred by IDEM’s earlier unappealed decision to terminate him. Upholds the Ethics Commission’s sanction against Ghosh.

Austin Knight v. State of Indiana
02S03-1006-CR-339
Criminal. Revises Knight’s sentence of 70 years following a guilty plea without a plea agreement to 11 counts, including felony burglary and robbery, to a total aggregate term of 40 years. Cannot conclude that Knight’s transgressions necessarily “demonstrate a character of such recalcitrance or depravity” that they justify a 70-year sentence. Remands for re-sentencing.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Luiz Alves v. Old National Bank f/k/a St. Joseph Capital Bank
71A03-0909-CV-416
Civil. Affirms denial of Alves’ Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion. Because he filed his motion more than one year after the trial court granted summary judgment for Old National Bank and his earlier appeal of that judgment doesn’t toll the 1-year limit applicable to motions brought pursuant to subsections (1)-(4), his motion is untimely. In addition, the evidence on appeal doesn’t show the bank owed a duty to Alves or that the bank breached a duty by conspiring with his former business partner to remove him from their company.

John M. Knight v. Kelly A. Knight (NFP)
39A01-0909-CV-453
Civil. Affirms denial of John Knight’s petition for modification of child support.

Luiz Alves v. Damon R.  Leichty, James W. Tuesley, and Barnes & Thornburg, LLC (NFP)
71A03-0912-CV-605
Civil. Affirms dismissal with prejudice of Alves’ complaint for legal malpractice.

Karla J. Reaser v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1001-CR-20
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery, Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, and Class D felony criminal confinement.

Derrick D. Hammond v. State of Indiana (NFP)
59A05-0908-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated and Class B misdemeanor false informing.

In Re: the Marriage of J.R. and M.R. (NFP)
30A01-0912-CV-581
Civil. Affirms child support award, reverses division of marital estate, and remands with instructions.

Elizabeth Saldivar-Cruz v. Guardian Industries Corp. (NFP)
93A02-0909-EX-839
Civil. Affirms denial of application for adjustment of claim with the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana.

Gregory A. Harpenau v. State of Indiana (NFP)
62A01-1002-CR-52
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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