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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. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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