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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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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