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Opinions July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was released Monday after IL deadline.
Dalmas Maurice Otieno Anyango and Jane Tinna Agola Otieno, as Natural Parents and Next of Kin of Isaiah Omondi Otieno, Deceased v. Rolls-Royce Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., et al.
49S04-1207-CT-434
Civil tort. Affirms trial court ruling dismissing the case based on forum non conveniens, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding that another more convenient, adequate forum was available to plaintiffs in a wrongful death action.

Opinions July 31, 2012

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Carol Aschermann v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al.
12-1230
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms the District Court judgment in favor of the insurers, in which an insurer stopped paying a worker’s disability benefits claim, holding that the decision was not arbitrary or capricious.

Indiana Supreme Court
Anthony H. Dye v. State of Indiana
20S04-1201-CR-5
Criminal. Reverses habitual-offender enhancement but summarily affirms the COA’s ruling that an executed term of 20 years is not inappropriate. Remanded to trial court with instructions to enter an order for an executed term of 20 years. Justice Massa dissents.

Shepherd Properties Co., d/b/a Shepco Commercial Finishes v. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 91
49S04-1112-PL-697
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court ruling that private parties are liable for attorney fees of a substantially prevailing plaintiff under the Access to Public Records Act. Remands for determination of what additional attorney fees the union incurred under the APRA as a result of Shepherd Properties’ appeal. Chief Justice Dickson and Justice Massa dissent without opinion.

The Presbytery of Ohio Valley, Inc., d/b/a The Presbytery of Ohio Valley, d/b/a Ohio Valley Presbytery, et al. v. OPC, Inc., f/k/a Olivet Presbyterian Church, Inc., et al.
82S02-1105-MF-314
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses and remands to the trial court for further proceedings in this property dispute, holding that neither party is fully entitled to either the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Olivet, nor the appeals court’s reversal and grant of summary judgment for the Presbytery. Justices Sullivan and Massa dissent.

Sean Thomas Ryan v. Dee Anna Ryan
71S03-1111-DR-644
Domestic relation. Affirms the trial court ruling that it had no authority to modify the property agreement between Sean and Dee Anna Ryan without Dee Anna’s consent. Finds the language of the parties’ agreement allows the court to conclude as a matter of contract law that Dee Anna is bound to agree to sales prices for the properties that would produce net proceeds less than those stated in the agreement.

James C. Purcell v. Old National Bank
49S02-1201-CT-4
Civil tort. Holds the trial court did not abuse its discretion under Trial Rule 50(A) in its determination that the evidence presented by Purcell was insufficient to merit presentation of evidence to the jury. When Stein’s interrogatory responses are viewed as a whole and in conjunction with his trial testimony, the import is that this evidence – standing alone – is insufficient to support Purcell’s intentional tort claims under the court’s qualitative analysis. Also agrees that Old National did not owe a duty of care to Purcell. Chief Justice Dickson and Justice Rucker dissent in part.

Indiana Court of Appeals
The Estate of K. David Short by Judith Y. Short, Personal Representative v. Brookville Crossing 4060 LLC d/b/a Baymont Inns & Suites and MPH Hotels, Inc. d/b/a Baymont Inns & Suites
49A02-1112-CT-1128
Civil tort. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants, holding that defendants did not have reason to know of the plaintiff’s peril.

James L. Hebner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A04-1111-CR-605
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses part three convictions of resisting law enforcement, one as a Class D felony and two as Class A misdemeanors.

Samuel Davis, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1110-CR-499
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony operating while intoxicated causing death.
 
Zachary Daye Riffle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1201-CR-7
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony attempted burglary.

Tommy Joe Doublin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A05-1110-CR-521
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary and adjudication as a habitual offender.
 
Joshua Wotowiec v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1111-CR-609
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Joseph Peters v. State of Indiana (NFP)
59A01-1108-CR-330
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss child molesting charges.

Micole Draughon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1111-CR-995
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part sentence for Class C felony criminal recklessness, remanding to the trial court to conduct a hearing on indigency and how restitution is to be paid.

Kelly Allen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
42A01-1112-CR-601
Criminal. Affirms trial court revocation of probation.  

Michael Burnett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1112-CR-1119
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions of Class B felony burglary, Class D felony theft and adjudication as a habitual offender.

In re the Guardianship of Thora Moulton: Alison E. Clapp (O'Callaghan) v. Donald J. Evans (NFP)
64A04-1201-GU-13
Guardianship. Reverses award of attorney fees and guardianship-related fees to Evans, holding that the trial court abused its discretion by awarding fees filed too late.

David E. Arnold v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1112-CR-668
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

David Smithers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
41A04-1111-PC-617
Post-conviction relief. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.  

Melissa Bruce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A03-1110-CR-476
Criminal. Affirms sentence for neglect of a dependent as a Class B felony.

Cynthia R. Atkinson v. Indiana Dept. of Administration (NFP)
49A04-1202-PL-81
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court denial of motion to correct error.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

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