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Opinions July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions prior to IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions prior to IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

In Re: The Matter of the Paternity of S.C.: K.C. (Appellant), and C.C. (Appellee), and B.H. (Appellee-Intervenor)
30A01-1107-JP-322
Juvenile paternity. Reaffirms original opinion affirming Hancock Circuit Court’s ruling vacating a finding of paternity for C.C. because another paternity action on behalf of B.H. was pending in Fayette Circuit. The decision grants rehearing in Hancock Circuit, finding that mother, S.C., did not inform the Hancock court of B.H’s pending paternity proceeding.

Julie Winslow v. Larry D. Fifer
84A04-1109-DR-518
Domestic relations/educational support. Affirms trial court ruling finding the plaintiff/mother in contempt of court, ordering her to pay defendant/father’s attorney fees and computing her proportional share of a daughter’s educational expenses. The court found the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sanctions for the plaintiff’s violation of court orders regarding educational support.

James Mies and Janice Mies v. Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals
76A03-1112-PL-564
Civil plenary/zoning. Affirms the trial court order reversing the Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals’ variance and remands the case to the BZA for a new hearing, holding that the board could not issue a post-construction variance for a lakeside deck that included waterfront setback requirements that would make the variance a legal nullity.

Ronald B. Hawkins v. State of Indiana
20A03-1112-CR-579
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands in a split decision trial court convictions and sentences for two counts of Class C felony non-support of a dependent child. The appeals court held that the trial court erred in entering both convictions as Class C felonies and instructed the court to reduce one conviction to a Class D felony and enter the advisory sentence.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., f/k/a Wachovia Commercial Mortgage, Inc. v. PNC Bank, N.A., f/k/a National City Bank of Indiana
49A02-1111-PL-1004
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on plaintiff’s suit alleging breach of contract, promissory estoppel, unjust enrichment, breach of duty to deal in good faith, tortious injury to property interest, slander of title and bad faith. The court held that the trial court did not err when it ruled the claims were barred by res judicata.

Leonard Dewitt v. Unsafe Building Department, City of Greendale, Indiana, Doug Hedrick, et al. (NFP)
15A04-1110-MI-567
Miscellaneous/inverse condemnation. Affirms trial court dismissal of action for inverse condemnation due to untimely filing of appeal of the Unsafe Building Department’s decision.

Stephen R. Harvey, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1201-CR-43
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s application of sentencing as a habitual offender.

Antonio Martell Twiggs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1111-CR-538
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s sentence of 10 years with eight years executed for a Class B felony conviction of burglary.

Jack D. Tiller v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, IDWD U.I. Claims Adjudication, and the Town of Walkerton (NFP)
93A02-1110-EX-961
Executive administration/unemployment. Affirms Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development ruling that plaintiff failed to disclose or falsified facts in applying for unemployment insurance.

Paul Roell v. American Senior Communities, LLP d/b/a East Lake Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and Harry Scribner (NFP)
20A03-1111-CT-524
Civil Tort. Affirms in a split decision the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s assault claim and denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

Kevin Cortez Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1107-CR-320
Criminal. Affirms interlocutory appeal of trial court’s denial of motion to suppress his confession in a fatal shooting.

Darryl Shepherd v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1111-CR-600
Criminal. Affirms trial court conviction of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Richard B. Gonon v. Wright & Lerch, David M. Wright, Stephen J. Lerch, William C. Butler, and Stephen J. Shumlas (NFP)
49A04-1111-CC-576
Civil collection. Affirms trial court’s order granting motion for transfer of venue and denies defendants’ request for appellate attorney fees.

Aaron Isby v. Lee Hoefling, David Gilstrap, James Basinger, Roger Randall Jr., Kevin Ewers, Edwin Buss, and David Sloan (NFP)
49A05-1110-MI-592
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court ruling dismissing plaintiff’s suit on basis it failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted.

J.R. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1203-JV-105
Juvenile. Affirms trial court ruling that placed J.R., a 17-year-old pregnant girl who was on probation, in a residential program to learn parenting skills and provide a safe environment for the child.

Kyle E. Bowers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1110-CR-464
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions of three counts of dealing in a schedule I or II narcotic as Class B felonies, and three counts of reckless homicide as Class C felonies, pursuant to a guilty plea.

Antwuan Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1108-CR-726
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Scott D. Wampler, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
09A02-1201-CR-61
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions and sentence for Class B felony burglary and criminal confinement.
 
Holly Fuhrman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
65A01-1108-CR-357
Criminal. Affirms trial court sentence for Class C felony forgery.

Jonathan S. Gardiner v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, and Audio Video International Limited (NFP)
93A02-1110-EX-1052
Executive administration/unemployment. Affirms defendant’s denial of unemployment compensation benefits.
 
In the Matter of the Involuntary Commitment of A.B. (NFP)
10A01-1109-MH-483
Mental health/involuntary commitment. Affirms trial court’s continuation of involuntary commitment after a review hearing.
 
In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of S.W.; H.L. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
15A01-1112-JT-623
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms trial court’s termination of plaintiff mother’s termination of parental rights.
 
Dontay Foster v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1111-CR-1036
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions of Class D felony criminal confinement, criminal confinement by removal and residential entry; and Class A misdemeanor battery.
 
Ronnie Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A04-1108-PC-445
Criminal/post-conviction relief. Affirms trial court denial of post-conviction relief
 

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  3. 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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