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Opinions July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Don Harley v. State of Indiana
20A03-1012-PC-630
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief and remands for a new trial. Harley’s trial attorney was ineffective when she failed to inform the trial court that Harley’s only income consisted of Supplemental Security Income.

U.S. Bank National Association v. Ethyl R. Seeley, et al.
21A04-1102-MF-84
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms entry of summary judgment in favor of Clarence and Pamela Davidson in the bank’s suit to foreclose on certain real property owned by them. The designated evidence establishes that the parties understood the Oct. 8, 1999, payment to be a final payment on the agreement, terminating it, which obligated Firstar to release the mortgage.

Derric Price v. Lake County Board of Elections and Registration
45A03-1103-PL-128
Civil plenary. Affirms ruling by the election board that Price was ineligible to appear on the 2011 primary ballot as a Democratic candidate for the mayor of Gary because he did not meet the one-year residency requirement. There is sufficient evidence to support that ruling.

Kenneth Kelly v. State of Indiana
30A04-1006-PC-408
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. The trial court erred in summarily denying Kelly’s petition as allegations by Kelly alleging ineffective trial counsel raise issues of possible merit. Remands for further proceedings.

David L. Stalker v. Mary C. Pierce
61A04-1008-GU-562
Guardianship. Reverses approval of Pierce’s final accounting and the denial of Stalker’s request for money damages. Pierce breached her fiduciary duty to protect, preserve, and properly manage Stalker’s property. She also breached her fiduciary duty of loyalty. Stalker is also entitled to damages as a result of Pierce violating his due process rights. Remands for a determination of Stalker’s harm and award of damages.

A.T. v. State of Indiana
49A02-1012-JV-1394
Juvenile. Affirms ordering wardship of A.T. to the department of correction for murder pursuant to both indeterminate and determinate sentences. The juvenile court did not err in awarding wardship of him to the DOC under a determinate sentence pursuant to Indiana Code 31-37-19-9.

William T. Springer v. State of Indiana
92A05-1101-PC-16
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Springer demonstrated at least a reasonable probability that a hypothetical reasonable defendant would have elected to go to trial if properly advised instead of plead guilty.

Paternity of W.C.; P.S. v. W.C.
82A04-1008-JP-496
Juvenile. Reverses order suspending mother’s parenting time and any other contact with her minor child. The trial court abused its discretion in doing so because the father failed to present evidence justifying the suspension of the mother’s parenting time. Remands for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of K.S., et al.; A.S. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
48A04-1011-JT-731
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of H.W. & S.W.; A.W. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
17A04-1102-JT-57
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Kristina L. Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1102-CR-37
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

Rachel Mosco v. Ind. Family and Social Services (NFP)
43A05-1102-MI-69
Miscellaneous. Reverses dismissal of petition for judicial review.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of S.M.; M.M. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
20A03-1101-JT-3
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Richard Spradlin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1012-CR-764
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Oswaldo Quizaman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1010-CR-712
Criminal. Affirms sentence of 40 years on each on the two counts of Class A felony dealing cocaine and one count of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine, but reverses and remands to revise his sentences to run concurrently.

Earnest Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1012-CR-671
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of B.B.; L.B. and D.W. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
79A02-1012-JT-1372
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of R.P.; R.P. and M.P. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
20A03-1101-JT-15
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Billy Lee McKeehan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1012-CR-666
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Stephen J. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
06A04-1009-PC-557
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

David Brown v. Brandi Brown Wittmer (NFP)
64A04-1012-DR-749
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part the final order in the dissolution of the Browns’ marriage. Remands for further proceedings.

Matthew D. Rozinski v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1010-CR-640
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder, three counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, and Class D felonies domestic battery, strangulation, criminal recklessness, and three counts of pointing a handgun.

Richard Sullivan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1011-CR-1195
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting.

Boyer Corp. Excavating v. Sheila Forbes (NFP)
18A02-1009-CT-1078
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Forbes in a suit seeking to recover an invoice for the use of the Boyer Corp.’s equipment by a laid-off employee.

Jesse J. Harris, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1009-CR-1068
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for felony murder and two counts of Class A felony attempted murder.

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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