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Opinions June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Roy Lee Ward v. State of Indiana
74S00-0907-PD-320
Death penalty. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Ward’s petition for relief from his death sentence. Ward raised several issues in his petition for relief, including ineffective assistance of counsel claims and that the state’s death penalty statute violates the Eighth Amendment.  

Friday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Rafael Bocanegra v. State of Indiana
20A03-1108-CR-361
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery. Holds that potential injury remains a sufficient basis for a finding of criminal intent in a forgery prosecution. Remands for vacation of his identity deception conviction. Senior Judge Sullivan dissents.

German American Financial Advisors & Trust Co. d/b/a German American Investment Svcs., PrimeVest Financial Svcs., Inc., and Jeffery W. Tooley v. Dennis M. Reed
19A01-1110-PL-428
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of German American Financial Advisors & Trust Co. and other appellants’ second motion to compel arbitration of Reed’s claims against them. Remands with instructions. Appellants have sustained their burden to show the existence of an enforceable arbitration agreement and that the disputed matter is the type of claim that is intended to be arbitrated under the agreement. Holds Reed must arbitrate his claims against GAFA under the doctrine of equitable estoppel. Judge Barnes concurs in part and dissents in part.

Karla P. Estrada v. State of Indiana
20A03-1110-CR-474
Criminal. Affirms convictions and 24-year sentence for two counts of Class B felony armed robbery and one count of Class C felony conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Estrada’s motion to dismiss or by admitting her statement to police into evidence. Her conspiracy conviction does not violate double jeopardy prohibition and her sentence is appropriate.

William T. Carter, derivatively on behalf of CNO Financial Group, Inc. v. R. Glenn Hilliard, et al.
49A02-1106-PL-582
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of CNO’s motion to dismiss Carter’s complaint for failure to make pre-suit demand on the board of directors. Carter has not alleged particularized facts to show that the director defendants face a substantial likelihood of liability for the conduct described in the amended complaint, nor has he alleged particularized facts to show that the director defendants breached their duties of good faith and loyalty. Therefore, Carter has not shown under Delaware law that pre-suit demand on the board would have been futile.

In Re: Prosecutor's Subpoena Regarding S.H. and S.C.; S.H. v. State of Indiana
73A01-1109-CR-468
Criminal. Affirms order granting the state’s petition to compel testimony by parents S.H. and S.C. by providing use immunity. Agrees with the state that because a prosecutor can compel testimony in grand jury proceedings by granting use immunity, the prosecutor has the same authority when conducting a pre-charge investigation without a grand jury.

Carl E. Thomas, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
63A05-1108-CR-423
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony rape.

Kevin L. Govan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1111-CR-663
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.
 

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  1. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  4. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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