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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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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