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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. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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