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Opinions July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Bartholomew County, Indiana v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and Robert L. Amos
93A02-1311-EX-986
Agency action. Affirms administrative law judge’s determination that Robert Amos was entitled to unemployment benefits after he was discharged for playfully shooting another participant with a nonlethal bullet after a training exercise. The review board did not err in finding that the merit board unevenly applied rules to the class of other officers who had playfully shot others in training exercises, Amos was not collaterally estopped from contesting the merit board determination that he was fired for cause, and the administrative law judge did not abuse discretion by denying the county’s request to submit the transcript of the merit board hearing as additional evidence.

Land Innovators Company, L.P., R.N. Thompson, Trinity Homes, Inc. and Trinity Homes, LLC d/b/a Beazer Homes v. Michael L. Bogan and Melody A. Bogan
29A05-1306-PL-308
Civil plenary. Affirms partial summary judgment to the Bogans against Trinity on liability as to claims of negligence, negligence per se, breach of contract, and breach of covenants. Also affirms partial summary judgment to the Bogans against Land Innovators and Thompson on liability as to claims of breach of covenants. In addition, affirms granting Trinity’s motion for judgment on the pleadings against the developers’ claim for indemnification. Reverses injunction for removal of the home. Rules the trial court’s decision without presentation of evidence or findings was improper.  

Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina and 500 Rangeline Road, LLC v. Erie Insurace Exchange, Welch & Wilson Properties, LLC d/b/a Hammons Storage, Allianz Global Risks U.S. Insurance Company
73A01-1307-PL-311
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment to Erie Insurance Exchange and denial of appellants’ motion for partial summary judgment. Finds Rangeline is an additional insured under Erie’s policy in the underlying litigation. Robb dissents, agreeing with the trial court that the Additional Insured Endorsement did not provide coverage for Rangeline in the underlying litigation.

Rogelio Garcia v. Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C.

49A02-1401-PL-7
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington P.C. in a lawsuit alleging improper collection of attorney fees arising from a settlement in a medical malpractice representation. The panel found the firm’s fees were authorized under the contract and the manner in which fees were collected does not compel a conclusion that the firm recovered fees in excess of 15 percent as permitted by statute.

James E. Whitfield, M.D. and St. Joseph Primary Care, LLC v. Jerry Wren, Individually and As Personal Representative of The Wrongful Death Estate of Leslie Wren, et al.
34A02-1307-CT-660
Civil tort. Affirms denial of summary judgment for Whitfield and St. Joseph Primary Care, concluding the trial court did not err because it is clear that evidence relevant to the breach in the standard of care alleged was presented to the Medical Review Panel as required by the Medical Malpractice Act.

Micah D. Perryman v. State of Indiana
20A03-1308-PC-299
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief to an aggregate 50-year sentence for conviction of Class A felony possession of cocaine and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Perryman failed to meet his burden of establishing grounds for post-conviction relief by a preponderance of the evidence and the court did not err in denying his petition.

Duneland Properties, LLC, Duneland Sand, Inc., Duneland Sand Enterprises, LLC, Duneland Holdings, LLC, David Lasco and Lasco Family Trust v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company
56A03-1308-PL-320
Civil plenary. Affirms award of $245,858 for the cost of reconstructing power lines on a new easement after a prior easement was mined for sand, making servicing poles difficult. The trial court did not err when it allowed experts to testify to opinions based on inadmissible evidence, which the court held is allowed, provided it is the type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: S.E. (Minor Child), and R.K. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
29A02-1312-JT-1064
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental right, holding that the trial court did not err when it required mother R.K., who is deaf, to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud. The evidence supports the trial court termination ruling, and R.K. was not denied due process when it required her to sign through an interpreter.

Frederick Bazeley, Jr., As Personal Representative of the Estate of Frederick T. Bazeley, III v. Robert Price and Sampson Fiberglass, Inc. (NFP)
20A03-1401-CT-36
Civil tort. Reverses trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Robert Price and Sampson Fiberglass in Frederick Bazeley’s wrongful death suit. Remands for proceedings, holding there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the cause of the fatal crash.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company v. Ruth A. Cranor (NFP)
45A04-1403-PL-117
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court order reinstating Ruth Cranor’s driving privileges.

Warren Parks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1308-PC-351
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Nicolas Duesler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A03-1311-CR-454
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 40-year sentence for conviction of four counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: A.W., (Minor Child), and J.W., (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
82A05-1311-JT-581
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Michelle Rose f/k/a Michelle Grabbe v. Jay D. Grabbe (NFP)
64A04-1312-DR-616
Domestic. Affirms grant of father’s petition for termination of child support. Remands to correct a scrivener’s error.  

Natosha L. Stillions v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1311-CR-508
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor conviction of theft.

Eric Barnett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1311-PC-989
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Angela M. Littrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1401-CR-15
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence for conviction of Class C felony forgery.

Thomas J. Wiater v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1403-MI-80
Miscellaneous. Reverses denial of petition to expunge a Class A misdemeanor battery conviction. Because all the statutory requirements for expungement were met, the court was obligated to grant the petition.

Jeremy D. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
65A01-1310-CR-473
Criminal. Affirms 10-year executed sentence for conviction of Class B felony child molesting.

In the Matter of the Finding of Contempt Against Tad Bohlsen During the Proceedings of Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Dickson Street Investments, LLC (NFP)
49A04-1401-PL-34
Civil plenary. Affirms finding of indirect contempt.

Travis L. Chizum v. State of Indiana (NFP)
50A04-1311-CR-560
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing methamphetamine and Class D felony convictions of possession of methamphetamine, possession of chemical reagents or precursors with intent to manufacture and maintaining a common nuisance.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions by 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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