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Opinions June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Bruce Lemmon, et al. v. Michael L. Harris
52S02-1011-CV-642
Civil. Reverses trial court judgment granting injunctive relief for Harris by removing his sexually violent predator status. Harris’ status is sexually violent predator by operation of law, and that classification does not violate the Indiana Constitution’s Ex Post Facto Clause or separation of powers provision. Justice Dickson dissents.

Brenda Moore v. State of Indiana
49S04-1101-CR-24
Criminal. Affirms Moore’s conviction of public intoxication as a Class B misdemeanor. Declines request to reverse Moore’s conviction on public policy grounds and she suffered no impingement of any alleged constitutional right to select which beverages to consume. Her accountability under the public intoxication statute doesn’t violate her personal liberty rights under the Indiana Constitution. Justice Rucker dissents.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Brook Abebe
10-3966
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms sentence of 300 months in prison following guilty plea to armed bank robbery, discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There was no procedural error in the District Court’s calculation of Abebe’s sentence and his sentence is not substantively unreasonable.

Aaron Smeigh v. Johns Manville Inc.
10-3388
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Johns Manville on Smeigh’s suit for retaliatory discharge and civil conversion. Smeigh didn’t present sufficient evidence to conclude that he was fired in retaliation for filing workers’ compensation or that JM knowingly exerted unauthorized control over his property. Admonishes Smeigh’s counsel for a portion of the appeal not meeting the standards for presenting and developing arguments on appeal.

Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Department of Child Services v. A.B.
71S00-1002-JV-156
Juvenile. Reverses trial court order finding Indiana Code sections 31-37-17-1.4, 31-37-18-9(a)-(b), and 31-40-1-2(f) as unconstitutional as violating the separation of powers principle and the “one subject” rule under the Indiana Constitution. The three statues are constitutional. The DCS’ requirement that the child be placed in Indiana rather than out of state was arbitrary and capricious. Upholds Judge Nemeth’s placement of the child at Canyon State Academy and the DCS should pay for the child’s placement.

Citizens State Bank of New Castle v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.
76S03-1009-CV-515
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Countrywide and Federal National Mortgage Association. Countrywide has failed to demonstrate that it is entitled to the remedy of strict foreclosure. Remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of Citizens Bank, and for all relief consistent with this opinion. Justice Sullivan dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Zachery Blackwell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
67A01-1101-CR-98
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony attempted robbery, and Class D felonies criminal confinement and aiding rioting.

James Deloney Jr v. State of Indiana (NFP)

29A02-1010-CR-1227
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Christopher Collins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1010-CR-1157
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class D felony theft.

Martin J. Russell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
83A04-1011-CR-671
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of sentence following a plea agreement to six counts of Class C felony theft and three counts of Class D felony theft.

John Chatman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1005-PC-362
Post conviction. Vacates trial court denial of Chatman’s motion for additional credit time for completion of a substance abuse program while he was in jail awaiting trial and dismisses the appeal.

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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