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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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