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Opinions July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Louis and Karen Metro Family LLC, et al. v. Lawrenceburg Conservancy District, et al.
09-2418, -2482
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Magistrate Judge William G. Hussman.
Civil. Affirms the City of Lawrenceburg and the Lawrenceburg Conservancy District breached their contract with the Metros to convey land to the Metros based on the option contract their company held. Vacates decision to reform the contract to change the date by which the option could be exercised from 18 months after completion of the project to 18 months after the date of the District Court opinion. Remands for further proceedings to calculate damages and to assess costs against the district and city.

United States of America v. David Diaz-Gaudarama
09-4048
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge David F. Hamilton.
Criminal. Affirms District Court denial to credit Diaz-Gaudarama with the two-point reduction for acceptance of responsibility. The District Court properly relied on the last-minute nature of Diaz-Gaudarama’s guilty plea and his own statements during his plea colloquy don’t reflect remorse. He had even faked psychological illness in an attempt to evade punishment.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
S.T. v. Community Hospital North In-Patient Psychiatric Unit
49A04-0910-CV-617
Civil. Affirms temporary involuntary commitment of S.T. There is sufficient evidence to support the commitment for a period of no more than 90 days. Declines to change the standard of review in cases involving sufficiency of evidence required for involuntary commitment.

Eric C. Danner v. State of Indiana
71A03-1001-CR-13
Criminal. Affirms convictions of dealing in cocaine, possession with intent to deliver over three grams as a Class A felony and possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor. The decision of the corporal to impound Danner’s car, which was later approved by her supervisor, was valid under paragraph K of the written police department policy and the evidence was properly admitted. The corporal’s observation of the marijuana was a proper plain view observation providing the officer with probable cause, and the search of the car doesn’t violate state or federal constitutional rights.

Elizabeth Bernel v. Jeffrey A. Bernel
46A03-0911-CV-511
Civil. Affirms denial of injunctive relief for Elizabeth. Reverses conclusion that the settlement agreement didn’t require Jeffrey to refinance or otherwise satisfy the outstanding balance on the JP Morgan Bank line of credit as necessary to remove the lien of debt from that account. Remands for the dissolution court to enter a money judgment in the amount of $950,000 for Elizabeth and against Jeffrey and to determine a reasonable amount of attorney fees. Holds Elizabeth shall be awarded prejudgment interest.  

State of Indiana v. Carla F. Wells (NFP)
71A03-0911-CR-545
Criminal. Affirms trial court order granting Wells’ motion to suppress.

Eastern Livestock, Inc. and Thomas P. Gibson v. Bill Day (NFP)
88A01-0909-CV-436
Civil. Affirms findings regarding “missing cattle” and the damages award to Day, charges made by Eastern and/or Gibson in Day’s account, and overpayments that Eastern and Gibson allegedly made to Day. Also affirms conclusion that Day’s pasture contracts with Gibson were not unconscionable and the refusal to award prejudgment interest to Day.

Donna Demko v. Jeffrey P. Demko (NFP)
64A03-0811-CV-550
Civil. Grants petition for rehearing and reaffirms original opinion on child support, custody and other matters.

Jeffrey B. Flora v. State of Indiana (NFP)
43A03-1002-CR-93
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to remove sexually violent predator status.

Scott S. Nowatzke v. Lorine L. Nowatzke (NFP)
46A05-0910-CV-611
Civil. Affirms division of property pursuant to the dissolution of the marriage.

Debra L. Collins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-742
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance.

Harvey L. Lancaster v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-10
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B misdemeanors disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

Mickel J. Mills v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0910-CR-616
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony criminal trespass and Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Robert F. Dougan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-0912-CR-1268
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class D felony residential entry and three counts of Class D felony intimidation.

Ryan E. Whitley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1001-CR-34
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony public indecency.

Raymond Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-0912-CR-1285
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Joe L. Knuckles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1002-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Adam N. Bock v. State of Indiana (NFP)
17A03-1003-CR-134
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration equivalent to 0.08 or more as a Class C misdemeanor.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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