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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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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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