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Opinions July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013
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The following opinion was released after IL deadline Monday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mobile Tool International, Inc. and MTI Insulated Products, Inc. v. Davis H. Elliot Company, Inc.
12-2673
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Mobile. Finds that the indemnity provision in the invoice did not supersede the language in the lease so Elliot was required to defend and indemnify Mobile against claims made by an injured employee.

Today's opinions:
Indiana Court of Appeals

In Re the Adoption of: P.A.H., f/k/a P..V., Minor Child, B.D. and L.H.C., v. J.H.
79A02-1302-AD-183
Adoption. Reverses trial court’s order granting post-adoption visitation to P.H.’s biological uncle, J.H. Finds the lower court lacked authority to grant post-adoption visitation rights to J.H. since he is not within any statutory category of persons entitled to visitation rights.

In Re: The Paternity of Jo.J., J.W.J., v. D.C.
29A05-1209-JP-447
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the judgment of the trial court to modify the father’s child support obligation and to jail father for contempt. The COA concludes the trial court may have erred in considering mother’s request for “temporary support” prematurely. It did not err in modifying father’s weekly child support payment.

Darla M. Brenton, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Evelyn Norfleet, Deceased v. Leslie D. Lutz
77A01-1302-ES-86
Estate, supervised. Affirms trial court’s order removing Brenton as special administrator of her mother’s estate. Brenton had successfully sought to be appointed as administrator for the sole purpose of collecting damages for wrongful death. However, when the trial court removed her as administrator after learning her brother had already been named as the executor of her mother’s estate, Brenton argued that the trial court did not comply with Indiana Code Section 29-1-10-6. This did not persuade the COA. The appeals court ruled without a valid appointment of a special administrator, there is not reason to seek removal under I.C. Section 29-1-10-6.      

Adam Miller v. State of Indiana
53A05-1211-CR-560
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s denial of Miller’s motion to suppress. Concludes the search of Miller’s backpack was impermissible under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Cale Bradford dissents, arguing the search of Miller’s backpack did not violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. Further, he asserts, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the state to reopen its evidence at the suppression hearing.  

Kevin Buckley v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A04-1211-CR-564
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class C felony.

Robert Marks v. State of Indiana (NFP)

62A01-1212-CR-591
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s revocation of Marks’ probation.  

Anonymous Hospital, Inc., v. Jane Doe, Et Al., and Indiana Department of Insurance (NFP)
20A03-1210-CT-426
Civil tort. Reverses and remands for further proceedings the trial court granting Doe partial summary judgment. Rules Doe’s complaint for damages falls within the purview of the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.

Joseph Dowell and Angie L. Grove and Cody Rowe v. American Modern Home Insurance Company (NFP)
50A03-1211-CT-487
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for American Modern Home Insurance Co.

Gary Wayne Shortt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1212-CR-590
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Shortt’s motion for earned credit time and to correct error in his sentence.

Floyd D. Stewart v. State of Indiana (NFP)

65A05-1212-CR-656
Criminal. Affirms Stewart’s conviction of two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and sentence to concurrent terms of 23 years, with 21 years executed and two years suspended.  

Kendal R. Pitts v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A03-1211-CR-492
Criminal. Affirms Pitts’ 30-year sentence for Class A felony rape.

Dominique Devon Hayes v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A05-1211-CR-576
Criminal. Affirms Hayes’ sentence of 17 years for one count of Child Molesting as a Class B felony.  

Margaret Smith v. Kristopher Schaler (NFP)

49A05-1211-CT-552
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s denial of Smith’s motion to dismiss Schaler’s complaint pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6). Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents, arguing the trial court did err because Schaler has only pled to spoliation-of-evidence claim in his complaint and spoliation of evidence is not a recognized cause of action in Indiana.

Victor Fointno v. Clair Barnes, Et Al., (NFP)
52A05-1303-SC-126
Small Claim. Affirms trial court’s entry of judgment against Fointno and in favor of the defendants.

James A. Groff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1211-CR-886
Criminal. Affirms Groff’s statutory no-contact order as a condition of his executed sentence following his plea of guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony.  

In the Matter of the Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of M.G. & A.G. (Minor Children), and S.S.(Mother) & S.G.(Father), v. Child Advocates Inc. and Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1211-JT-583
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of mother’s and father’s parental rights.

Truong Vu v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A04-1207-CR-352
Criminal. Affirms Vu’s convictions for criminal deviate conduct, as a Class B felony; sexual battery, as a Class D felony; and two counts of criminal confinement, as Class D felonies. Remands with instructions for the court to correct its written sentencing statement and any related documents to include the term of probation.  

Jose F. Medina v. State of Indiana (NFP)

20A04-1210-CR-525
Criminal. Affirms Medina’s conviction of and sentence for Class A felony attempted child molesting.

Adam Sullender v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1212-CR-554
Criminal. Affirms Sullender’s sentence for Class C felony battery of a pregnant woman and Class D felony strangulation.
 
Martez Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1212-CR-1007
Criminal. Affirms Brown’s 150-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of murder and one count of Class B felony robbery.

Billy Ray Mead v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1301-CR-33
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s revocation of Mead’s probation and order for him to serve his previously suspended five-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction with credit for time served.  

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court release no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals released no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. "...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.

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