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Opinions June 18, 2013

June 18, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert Yeftich, et al. v. Navistar Inc. and Indianapolis Casting Corp.
12-2964
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of complaint filed by group of unionized workers alleging breach of collective-bargaining agreement under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. The complaint lacked enough factual content to plead a plausible claim for breach of the duty of fair representation, which is required to pursue this litigation.

Indiana Supreme Court
Tim Berry, Auditor of State; M. Caroline Spotts, Principal Clerk of the House of Representatives; and The State of Indiana/ Brian C. Bosma, Speaker v. William Crawford, et al.
49S00-1201-PL-53 and 49S00-1202-PL-76
Civil plenary. Reversed the judgment of the trial court, remands and directs the trial court to grant the defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of justiciability. A split court ruled the  House of Representatives has the authority, granted by the Indiana Constitution, to levy fines against members of the House Democratic Caucus for leaving during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions. Moreover, the doctrine of separation of powers precludes judicial consideration of the Democrats’ claims for relief. Justice Robert Rucker dissented, arguing the House’s constitutionally granted discretion to punish its members does not include the ability to reduce its members’ compensation.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Nationstar Mortgage, LLC v. Jeffrey A. Curatolo, Et Al.,
45A03-1211-MF-469
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses order modifying Nationstar Mortgage’s mortgage agreement with Curatolo. The trial court lacked the authority to modify the agreement without the consent of both parties.

Bertram A. Graves, M.D. v. Richard Kovacs, M.D., Edward Ross, M.D., and Indiana University Health f;/k/a Clarian Health Partners, Inc.
49A05-1301-PL-1
Civil plenary. Reverses the granting of judgment on the pleadings in favor of Kovacs and Ross and remands for further proceedings. The court found that although Graves’ complaint may have been unartfully drafted, the trial court erred in concluding that the complaint failed to state any actionable claim against Kovacs and Ross.     
 
Duane Crocker v. State of Indiana

79A04-1210-CR-542
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Crocker’s motion to suppress evidence. The court ruled Crocker should have been Mirandized as soon as he entered the police car and therefore his incriminating statements should have been suppressed. However, Crocker had signed a ‘Pirtle’ form and did not admit to knowing he was transporting marijuana until after he consented to the search of his vehicle.

Dartanyan Porche v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1206-CR-328
Criminal. Affirms Porche’s conviction of felony murder and 55-year sentence.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.F. and D.F. and S.K. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
48A02-1211-JT-905
Juvenile termination. Affirms trial court’s judgment to terminate parental rights of S.K. and D.F.

Frank Tiller v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1211-CR-571
Criminal. Affirms Tiller’s conviction of felony murder following a jury trial. The court ruled that given the blood stain evidence and the close proximity in time and location that Tiller was to the victim, a reasonable trier of fact could conclude Tiller was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  

Thomas A. Dexter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A05-1210-PC-557
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Dexter’s petition for post-conviction relief.   

Lake Shore Estates MHC, LLC. v. Michael H. Lane, Et Al. (NFP)
71A05-1210-PL-512
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of the government defendants and the collection agent.  

Charles C. Hitt v. State of Indiana (NFP)

42A04-1210-CR-508
Criminal.  Affirms denial of Hitt’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea to a Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine. The court ruled Hitt did not show that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his request to withdraw his plea.  

David Lautenschlager v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1211-PC-653
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Lautenschlager’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of C.M. and M.M.; R.M. and Indiana Department of Child Services, Annette Marion and Kenneth Marion (NFP)
02A04-1209-JC-468
Juvenile. Affirms the trial court’s order or judgment of the court awarding custody of C.M. and M.M. to their grandparents, K.M. and A.M.  

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.C. and R.C. and S.C. and R.C. Sr., S.C. & R.C. Sr. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
71A03-1211-JT-501
Juvenile termination. Affirms court’s order to terminate parental rights to J.C. and R.C., Jr.

The Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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