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Opinions July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Donella Locke
11-3743
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms Locke’s sentence of 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release and order she pay more than $340,000 in restitution to lenders for her role in a real estate fraud scheme. Locke argued the District Court erred when it failed to reduce the loss amount incurred as a result of her convicted conduct by the amounts the victims received when they sold the real estate that secured the fraudulently obtained loans, but she waived this issue.

Indiana Supreme Court
Camoplast Crocker, LLC, The Kelch Corporation, and Seats, Inc. v. Kris Schoolcraft, as Personal Representative of the Wrongful Death Estate of Rickie D. Schoolcraft, Deceased, et al.
29S02-1407-CT-476
Civil tort. Grants transfer and affirms denial of new defendants’ motion to dismiss or judgment on the pleadings, arguing the motion to amend the complaint to add them as defendants was filed too late. Expressly adopts and incorporates by reference pursuant to Ind. App. Rule 58(A)(1) the Court of Appeals opinion in this case.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James Giles, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of Ruth Giles, deceased v. Anonymous Physician I, Anonymous Corporation I, Anonymous Hospital I, Anonymous Physician II, et al.
03A01-1306-CT-257
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment to Anonymous Physician I on Giles’ medical malpractice claim. Caselaw is clear that a physician who does not treat a patient or perform some affirmative act regarding the patient has no physician-patient relationship and thus owes no duty to that patient.

Hi-Tec Properties, LLC v. Brittany Murphy, Kendall Murphy, Lorie Murphy, and Jay Frazier
50A05-1401-CT-14
Civil tort. Reverses a portion of the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiffs on their claims for negligence, breach of contract and fraud against Hi-Tec. Lorie Murphy cannot collect any damages because she is not a party on the lease and Kendall Murphy is only entitled to $2,360 for the rent he paid on adult daughter Brittany Murphy's apartment. Remands with instructions for revision. The trial court did not err when it concluded that the exculpatory clause in the rental lease was void as against public policy. Affirms $15,000 in punitive damages to Brittany Murphy.  

Alvino Pizano v. Indiana Attorney General Gregory Zoeller, et al.

33A04-1402-MI-85
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of Pizano’s lawsuit claiming he was entitled to credit time for earning a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University while incarcerated. The case was correctly dismissed as moot because the state awarded Pizano the credit time and he has since been released from incarceration, so he has been granted all possible relief.

Glenn Hatmaker v. Betty Hatmaker (NFP)
49A05-1402-DR-56
Domestic relation. Affirms order restricting Glenn Hatmaker’s parenting time to supervised parenting time two hours per week.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Z.S. (Minor Child) and R.S. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
09A04-1309-JT-473
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Timothy E. Strowmatt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1402-PC-70
Post conviction. Affirms order dismissing petition for writ of state habeas corpus.

Charles Howlett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1312-CR-1024
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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