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Opinions June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010
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The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday.
Indiana Supreme Court
Sylvia B. Piven, et al. v. ITT Corporation, Inc., et al.
94S00-0911-CQ-508
Certified question. The District Court of New York correctly applied instructive Delaware caselaw to determine the demand futility standards that Indiana would apply. Holds that the Indiana Business Corporation Law employs the same standard for showing - lack of disinterestedness - both as to the composition of special board committees under Indiana Code Section 23-1-32-4 and to the requirement that a shareholder must make a demand that the corporation‘s board act unless the demand would be futile.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Andre Peoples v. State of Indiana
79S02-0912-CR-549
Criminal. Affirms finding Peoples is a habitual offender. People’s instant dealing offense is to be counted in calculating the total number of unrelated felony convictions an individual has for drug dealing. While a single felony drug conviction is not enough to qualify a person for habitual offender status, a second such conviction is, be it a prior conviction or the instant offense.

Myron Owens v. State of Indiana
49S02-0910-CR-429
Criminal. Affirms Owens’ convictions of and sentence for dealing cocaine and obstruction of justice, and that he has accumulated two unrelated convictions to be sentenced under the habitual offender statute. Holds conspiracy to deal conviction is not equivalent to a dealing conviction for purposes of the Indiana habitual offender statute.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Randy Edward Johnson v. State of Indiana
53A01-1002-CR-38
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting. No actual conflict existed that required the defense attorney to make a choice advancing his own interests to the detriment of his client’s interests, but only a potential conflict occurred between Johnson and his counsel. Finds that the trial court’s action of formally noting Johnson’s displeasure on the chronological case history and forwarding his request to the Monroe County Public Defender Officer reasonable. The State did not commit prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments.

Paternity of H.S.; P.S. v. R.F.
91A02-1003-JP-334
Juvenile. Affirms summary judgment in favor of R.F. in P.S. and H.S.’s paternity action against him and the denial of their request for genetic testing of R.F. Any objections to Judge Overbeck’s presiding over the adoption were waivable and H.S. and P.S. have done just that due to mother P.S.’s failure to raise the issue in 1975. Concludes that a mere desire to know the identity of one’s biological father, whatever the reason, is insufficient once establishing legal paternity is not possible. The trial court correctly denied H.S and P.S.’s motion to compel genetic testing on R.F.

Paternity of K.D.; T.N. v. B.D.
49A02-0907-JV-693
Juvenile. Reverses juvenile court order prohibiting mother T.N. from discussing legal proceedings with the media following the establishment of paternity of her child K.D. The order is an invalid prior restraint on mother’s free speech rights, and the confidentiality provisions in Indiana Code and Administrative Rule 9 don’t prohibit her from talking to others about the case based on her knowledge obtained independent of the juvenile proceedings. Remands with instructions.

Lorenzo A. Taylor v. State of Indiana

29A02-0912-CR-1212
Criminal. Reverses conviction of conspiracy to commit dealing in cocaine as a Class A felony and remands with instructions to enter as a Class B felony and resentence accordingly. Taylor’s convictions and sentences for both dealing in cocaine and conspiracy to commit dealing in cocaine don’t violate the prohibition against double jeopardy.

City of Indianapolis v. Olive Duffitt

49A04-0911-CV-661
Civil. Reverses denial of City of Indianapolis’ motion for summary judgment in Duffitt’s tort action for damages arising out of injuries sustained from falling on a sidewalk. Given the budgetary considerations and cost-benefit analyses that produced the city’s prioritization scheme, Indianapolis’ designated evidence demonstrates that its decisions are discretionary under the “planning-operational test” as it is interpreted in Pairsh and Rutherford. In cases where certain policy decisions have been delegated to individual employees, discretionary immunity may be established through affidavits. Remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of the city.

Michael Harrison v. Veolia Water Indianapolis, LLC
49A04-0912-CV-722
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Veolia Water Indianapolis on the basis that Harrison failed to provide Veolia with notice of his injury pursuant to the Indiana Tort Claims Act. Concludes after considering the evident purposes of ITCA and the development of the common law predating Indiana Tort Claims Act’s adoption that Veolia is not a governmental entity or a political subdivision of the State entitled to ITCA’s protections. Remands for further proceedings

Adam Gibson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
47A01-1001-CR-28
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony burglary.

Kathy Hardesty v. Larry Vickery (NFP)

08A04-1001-PO-117
Order of protection. Affirms order of protection against Hardesty.

Christopher Deardorff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-0911-CR-550
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

James Daugherty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
21A01-1001-CR-55
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to public intoxication as a Class B misdemeanor.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of L.C. & G.C.; G.C. v. Marion County Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates (NFP)

49A02-0912-JV-1253
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Saundra and Clyde Smithson v. Howard Regional Health System (NFP)

34A02-1001-CT-73
Civil. Reverses and remands summary judgment in favor of Howard Regional Health System that it was immune from liability under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

S.C. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-0912-JV-1186
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication for false informing, a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult.

Sheldon Fogleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
30A01-1002-CR-62
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony theft.

Billy Dix v. Indiana State Department of Health, et al. (NFP)
03A01-1001-MI-13
Miscellaneous. Affirms order on judicial review affirming the Indiana State Department of Health’s administrative determination that Dix’s involuntary transfer was in compliance with Indiana’s regulations.

Spencer Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0912-CR-719
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Donald Fisher v. Tower Bank and Trust Co. (NFP)
02A05-1002-MF-97
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Tower Bank upon the court’s determination that the bank’s lien on property owned by Stauffer Development was first in priority.

L.M. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-JV-15
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication for Class B felony child molesting if committed by an adult.

Cynthia Sericati v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0911-CR-673
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

Alvino Pizano v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1002-CR-128
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to remove defendant from Indiana’s Sex Offender Registry Act’s Residency Restriction Portion.

Kevin Holloway v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0911-CR-649
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony child solicitation.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

 

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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