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Opinions July 21, 2010

July 21, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Adoption of A.M.; M.M. v. M.M. & A.C.
53A05-1002-AD-71
Adoption. Reverses denial of grandfather M.M.’s uncontested petition to adopt his biological granddaughter A.M. Based upon the reasoning in K.S.P., the idea that the best interests of the child is the primary concern in an adoption proceeding, the purposes of the adoption statutes as stated by the legislature, and the trial court’s initial determination that adoption was in the best interests of A.M., preventing the adoption in this specific case on the basis of Ind. Code Section 31-19-15-1 and Ind. Code Section 31-19-15-2 would cause an absurd result not intended by the legislature. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Najam dissents.

Brandon Vest v. State of Indiana
49A02-0912-CR-1276
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. The state prosecuted Vest for only one indivisible instance of resisting law enforcement, and jurors were not required to agree on which particular officer Vest fled.

T.J. v. State of Indiana
49A04-1001-JV-8
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication for animal fighting, a Class D felony if committed by an adult. The testimony from the witnesses support a reasonable inference T.J. and another boy were encouraging a larger dog to attack a smaller dog.

Anne Walterman Murphy, et al. v. William Curtis, et al.
49A04-0909-CV-503
Civil. Reverses summary judgment for Curtis and other members of the class. An administrative law judge’s refusal to consider evidence of conditions not disclosed on a Medicaid disability application doesn’t violate federal Medicaid law and the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Judge Riley dissents.

Indiana Dept. of Insurance v. Robin Everhart
84A01-0912-CV-614
Civil. Reverses findings of fact, conclusions of law, and judgment of $1 million in favor of Everhart in her claim against the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund. It is not consistent with Supreme Court precedent to hold the fund liable for more than the increased risk of harm that the doctor caused. Remands for the trial court to recalculate its damages award and award damages to Everhart in proportion to the increase in risk of harm that was caused by the malpractice and address whether the fund is entitled to a set-off.  

Centerfield Bar Inc. v. Michael Gee, et al.
05A02-0911-CV-1070
Civil. Affirms denial in part of Centerfield Bar’s motion for summary judgment in a complaint filed by the Gees that the bar’s negligence in failing to remove or control another patron resulted in Michael’s injuries. Based on the facts set forth as evidence, Greenfield hasn’t demonstrated that the assault on Michael was not foreseeable as a matter of law.

Eric Pilipow v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1001-CR-19
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery.

Raymond E. Robinson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A04-0912-CR-692
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation.

Joshua Orman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
11A04-1003-CR-216
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felonies burglary and aggravated battery.

Jonathan Perkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
44A05-1001-CR-11
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony robbery, Class D felony aiding in a theft, and Class B misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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