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Opinions June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court
Richard Patrick Wilson and Billy Don Wilson v. Gene Isaacs, Sheriff of Cass County, and Brad Craven
09S05-1003-CV-149
Civil. Reverses grant of summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ liability claims against the sheriff for the conduct of Deputy Brad Craven. Affirms summary judgment for claims against Craven personally. Holds that a law enforcement officer's use of force in excess of the reasonable force authorized by statute is not shielded from liability under the "enforcement of a law" immunity provided in Indiana Code § 34-13-3-3(8) and that genuine issues of fact exist, precluding summary judgment. Chief Justice Shepard dissents without opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Julianne E. Tamasy v. Peter S. Kovacs
49A05-0910-CV-563
Civil. Affirms order granting physical custody of the parties’ children to Kovacs. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Tamasy’s request to transfer the custody proceedings to Massachusetts, in excluding certain testimony at trial, in modifying the previous custody order, and in issuing a July 23, 2009, order regarding Tamasy’s emergency motion to compel parenting time.

Indianapolis-Marion Co. Public Library v. Thornton Thomasetti Engineers, et al.

6A05-0906-CV-327
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Thorton Thomasetti Engineers on the common law indemnity cross-claim and contractual indemnity cross-claim. Declines library’s invitation to adopt the doctrine of implied contractual indemnity. Reverses summary judgment for TTE on the cross-claim for breach of professional standard of care. It is up a jury to decide whether TTE committed a breach of damages to which WMP may be entitled. Remands for further proceedings on this cross-claim.

American Family Insurance v. Beazer Homes, et al.
49A02-0912-CV-1292
Civil. Reverses dismissal of American Family Insurance’s claim for failure to prosecute against Beazer Homes and other defendants. The trial court abused its discretion in dismissing the claim under Indiana Trial Rule 41(E). The record does not reveal a history of an egregious pattern of deliberate delay on the part of American Family or that American Family defied any court orders. Remands with instructions to reinstate the cause of action.

Elmer D. Baker, v. State of Indiana
17A04-0905-CR-299
Criminal. Grants rehearing to clarify holding on the issue of the amendment of the charging information but affirms original opinion affirming convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony child molesting. Clarifies holding to state that the applicable deadline for amending the information is not “before the commencement of the trial” that ended in a mistrial; rather, it is “before the commencement of the trial” that was held on the amended charges, and the one from which Baker filed his appeal.

Eliud Anthony Delgado v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-0911-CR-1142
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections.

Travis Halveland v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A04-1002-CR-111
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony theft.

Stardust Development, LLC v. City of Bloomington (NFP)

53A04-0908-CV-487
Civil. Reverses small claims judgment in favor of Bloomington in Stardust Development’s action to recover costs of a tree branch removal. Remands with instructions.

Martin Serrano v. State of Indiana and the City of Fort Wayne (NFP)

02A03-0908-CV-362
Civil. Reverses judgment in favor of the state and City of Fort Wayne ordering the forfeiture of Serrano’s truck, which was seized after a traffic stop.

Maurice Hairston v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1003-CR-137
Criminal. Affirms convictions of burglary as a Class B felony, receiving stolen property as a Class D felony, and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Jason D. Arbuckle v. State of Indiana (NFP)

72A01-0912-CR-618
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.L.; H.L. v. IDCS (NFP)
02A03-1002-JT-100
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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