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Opinions June 26, 2014

June 26, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Chris Cabral and Nancy Tarsitano v. City of Evansville, Ind.; Appeal of: West Side Christian Church
13-2914
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Dismisses West Side Church’s appeal of the court order that permanently enjoined the city from permitting the erection of the church’s crosses on the public riverfront. West Side does not have standing to bring the appeal because the court cannot redress any injury the church might have suffered because Evansville is not a party to this appeal and could prohibit the display’s erection regardless of any issue ordered.


Indiana Court of Appeals
First American Title Insurance Company v. Darrell Calhoun and Barbara Calhoun, Successors to Marcus Burgher III, for Issuance of Tax Deed
13A01-1304-MI-177
Miscellaneous. Affirms order denying the original intervenor/mortgage foreclosure judgment holder’s motion for summary judgment, in which it sought to set aside the tax deed issued to the tax sale purchaser and original petitioner, Burgher, for property he later quitclaim deeded to substitute petitioners, the Calhouns. There are questions of fact regarding the constitutional adequacy of the 4.6 Notice and regarding the balancing of the parties’ interests and regarding whether Burgher gave notice in a manner reasonably calculated to inform WM of the issuance of the tax deed.

Indiana Tax Court
Clark County, Indiana v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance
39T10-1102-TA-9
Tax.  Affirms the DLGF’s final determination that denied Clark County’s petition for an excess property tax levy for the 2011 budget year. The county’s decision to not charge the maximum property tax levy that was allowed under statute for the 2008 year is not an “error in data” that the DLGF can later fix.

Thursday’s opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Traci Nelson v. Tony Nelson
41A01-1309-DR-424
Domestic relation. Affirms order denying Traci Nelson’s motion to relocate and modifying custody of her child in favor of father Tony Nelson. Finds mother’s reasons for relocation were legitimate and in good faith and that the conclusion that the Relocation Statute factors disfavored relocation and merited a change in custody to father was not clearly erroneous.

Terry Weisheit Rental Properties, LLC v. David Grace, LLC and Dance Central Academy, LLC

19A05-1310-PL-488
Civil plenary. Reverses judgment finding the existence of a prescriptive easement permitting Grace and the dance academy use of portions of land used by Weisheit for ingress and egress from Grace’s property. The trial court erred in construing the provision of the plaintiffs’ deed.

Lindsay Washmuth and Kristopher Washmuth v. Johnny Wiles and Amy Wiles
48A04-1310-SC-515
Small claims. Reverses judgment in favor of the tenants, Johnny and Amy Wiles. The small claims court erred when it determined that the Washmuths’ notice to the tenants was untimely. Remands for calculation of the amount of damages incurred by the landlords and the amount of security deposit, if any, that should be returned to the tenants.

James R. Sapp v. Flagstar Bank, FSB
49A02-1311-PL-935
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court properly determined that FSB could issue a charge back to Sapp’s account in accordance with the agreement and Uniform Commercial Code. The trial court correctly found Sapp personally liable for the amount of the check that had been lost. Affirms the amount of attorney fees that the trial court awarded to FSB and remands to decide the amount of appellate attorney fees to which FSB may be entitled.

Rebecca Roberts v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1311-CR-498
Criminal. Affirms decision ordering Roberts to serve the entire previously suspended sentence following her probation violation.

Thomas Schultheis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
60A04-1311-CR-582
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony intimidation of a law enforcement officer.

E. Rodney Lewis Blair v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1311-CR-432
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to withdraw guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

Desmond McGee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1311-CR-555
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Garry D. Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
39A01-1310-CR-457
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, finding Jackson is a habitual offender, and four-year prison sentence.

L.P. Richardson v. Eric Armstrong, Jonathon Postell, Tyrone Postell, Lambert Barnes (NFP)
49A02-1309-PL-826
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Richardson’s complaint and award of attorney fees and court costs to Armstrong.

Shawn P. English v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1311-CR-457
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and Class D felony battery.

Rick Whipple v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1312-CR-1000
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

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

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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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