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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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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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