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Opinions June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Brad W. Passwater v. State of Indiana
48S05-1210-PC-583
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court denial of Passwater’s petition for relief. In the decision, the court reconsiders the instructions it approved in Georgopuls v. State, 735 N.E. 2d 1138, 1143 n.3 (Ind. 2000), for juries faced with the option of finding a defendant not responsible by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill. The court concluded the instruction provided by the Indiana Pattern Jury Instruction 11.20 is better and approved its use.

Valentin Escobedo v. State of Indiana
71S03-1306-CR-455
Criminal. Affirms aggregate term of 53 years for convictions of battery, a Class A felony and neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony. The court disapproves of giving consideration of a community’s outrage in the determination or review of a criminal sentence. However, the court does agree with the ultimate conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the sentence imposed by the trial court was appropriate.

In Re Mandate of Funds for Center Township of Marion County Small Claims Court Order for Mandate and Mandate of Funds
49S00-1207-MF-420
Mandate for funds. Affirms special judge’s decree approving renovations, additional staff and prohibiting relocation of the small claims court as had been sought by the Center Township trustee and board. Justices conclude the record is replete with evidence that moving the court from its present location poses a clear and present danger to access to justice for the litigants it serves, and that maintaining and upgrading the Court in its present location is reasonably necessary to preserve that access. Orders the township trustee to relinquish control over court functions, noting authority over its employees and its financial operations shall be vested solely in the court.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Horse Racing Commission v. Edmund W. Martin, Jr.
49A02-1206-PL-512
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court order setting aside and vacating an exclusion order issued by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission against Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association director Edmund Martin Jr., and remands for reinstatement of the order. The court held that the exclusion order was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law, and Indiana Code 4-31-6-1 and Rule 5.5-1-1(a) required him to be licensed as an active participant in the group’s activities at Indiana pari-mutuel horse racetracks.

Shannon Robinson and Bryan Robinson v. Erie Insurance Exchange
49A02-1211-PL-908
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Erie Insurance Exchange, holding that a hit-and-run driver was uninsured as a matter of law. Holds that summary judgment instead should have been granted to plaintiffs who sued over denial of coverage in an accident in which their vehicle was totaled but there were no bodily injuries.

Calvin McKeller v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1209-CR-714
Criminal. Affirms conviction after jury trial of Class B felony robbery.

John P. Schaub v. The Estate of Edward G. Schaub and David Schaub, Personal Representative (NFP)
54A01-1301-PL-11
Civil plenary. Reverses damage award of $12,000. Finds the estate did not meet the burden of proof in proving the elements of a replevin claim. The estate failed to present evidence relative to the value of the recreational vehicle on the date that the possession by John Schaub became wrongful.

Larry G. Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A2-1208-CR-657
Criminal. Affirms Brown’s convictions and sentences for two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Christopher Gross v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A04-1210-CR-647
Criminal. Affirms Gross’ sentence of 30 months of incarceration following his conviction of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance.

Gregory D. Swagger v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1212-CR-1018
Criminal. Affirms trial court was statutorily authorized to revoke Swagger’s probation and order him to serve the rest of his four-year sentence in the Department of Correction.

Robert J. Lambright, Shirley A. Lambright, and Dutch Land, Inc. a/k/a Dutchland, Inc. v. Dawn M. Gregory, as Guardian for Donna Lee (NFP)
44A04-1211-CC-589
Civil collection. Reverses the grant of summary judgment and remands for further proceedings. Holds the trial court erred by considering a letter from a certified public account that was not properly part of the designated evidence and that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the lenders waived or partially waived enforcement of the penalty provisions.   

Brandon Shane Fitch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A05-1209-CR-481
Criminal. Affirms convictions of five counts of child molesting, each as a Class C felony.
 
David Gibbs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1208-CR-406
Criminal. Affirms conviction of arson as a Class B felony.
 
Tony Wombels v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1212-CR-652
Criminal. Affirms conviction of carjacking, a Class B felony.

Santos Vasquez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1301-CR-1
Criminal. Affirms conviction of burglary as a class B felony.  

Layne M. Jefferson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1211-CR-952
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to theft as a Class D felony. Concludes the sentence the trial court imposed – three years in the Indiana Department of Correction with one year executed and to be served at a work release facility, and two years suspended to supervised probation – is specifically tailored with Jefferson’s particular history and rehabilitative issue in mind.  

Daniel Drake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1212-CR-972
Criminal. Affirms conviction of public intoxication, a Class B misdemeanor.

Gersh Zavodnik v. Michela Rinaldi, et al. (NFP)
49A05-1211-CT-595
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s dismissal of Zavodnik’s case against Rinaldi pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 41(E).

The Paternity of P.A.B.; K.B. v. J.L. (NFP)
15A04-1210-GU-518
Guardianship. Affirms trial court’s order terminating guardianship and granting motion for change of custody to the father. Finds the grandmother failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that P.A.B.’s interests were substantially and significantly served by continued placement with her.

State of Indiana v. Harley Perkins (NFP)
48A02-1210-CR-823
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s order granting a mistrial and dismissing the charges against Perkins.

Heather Renae Ingle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1211-CR-901
Criminal. Affirms Ingle’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated endangering a person, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Re: Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of J.W,. and K.S. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
65A01-1211-JT-535
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights.

Marquis Wilcox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1209-CR-456
Criminal. Affirms Wilcox’s convictions on four counts of Class A felony child molesting.   

Terrance L. Walton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1210-CR-518
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license and Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated endangering a person.

Jarrell Outlaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1210-CR-521
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor auto theft and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Also affirms trial court’s order Outlaw pay $166 in court cost.

Indiana Tax Court
Geoffrey Odle, Personal Representative of the Estate of Floyd L. Odle, Deceased v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue
49T10-1210-TA-61
Tax. Affirms probate court ruling affirming a denial of a tax refund, holding that beneficiaries of the estate – nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews of a childless couple – were properly classified as Class B and Class C transferees subject to taxation at a higher rate than Class A transferees.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.


 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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