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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

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

Kristina L. Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

Rachel Mosco v. Ind. Family and Social Services (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Reverses dismissal of petition for judicial review.

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

Richard Spradlin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Oswaldo Quizaman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Billy Lee McKeehan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

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

David Brown v. Brandi Brown Wittmer (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting.

Boyer Corp. Excavating v. Sheila Forbes (NFP)
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)
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. What Mr. Bir is paying is actually Undifferentiated Family Support, which is a mixture of child support and spousal maintenance. If the courts had labeled accurately labeled the transfer payment, I think that Mr. Bir would have fewer objections to paying it because both Spousal Maintenance and Undifferentiated Family Support are tax deductions for the paying party and taxable to the receiving party. I brought this issue up with my family court judge when my voluntarily unemployed ex-wife was using the 'child support' transfer payment to support both herself and out children. Said family court judge stated that I did not know what I was talking about because I did not have a Juris Doctorate, despite my having a printout with dictionary definitions of the legal terms that I was using for documentation.

  2. Lori, you must really love wedding cake stories like this one ... happy enuf ending for you?

  3. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  4. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  5. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?