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Opinions June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday.
Indiana Supreme Court

Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library v. Charlier Clark & Linard, P.C.
06S05-0907-CV-332
Civil. Affirms dismissal of the library’s claims of negligence against the defendants. The library is connected with the defendants through a network or chain of contracts in which the parties allocated their respective risks, duties, and remedies. Those contracts, and not negligence law, govern the outcome of the library’s claims.

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Integrity Land Title Corp.
17S03-1002-CV-120
Civil. Affirms the judgment of the trial court with respect to its grant of Integrity’s motion for summary judgment on U.S. Bank's contract claim and reverses trial court’s grant of Integrity’s motion for summary judgment on U.S. Bank’s tort claim Holds applicable tort law permits U.S. Bank’s tort claim to go forward. The facts of the case fit within the tort of negligent misrepresentation, an exception to the economic loss rule. Remands for further proceedings.

Kenneth Brown v. State of Indiana
11S04-0911-CR-537
Criminal. Affirms Brown’s convictions of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine as a Class B felony, possession of a controlled substance as a Class C felony, possession of paraphernalia as a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor. Brown failed to preserve his challenge to the admissibility of evidence. Holds that a claimed error in admitting unlawfully seized evidence at trial is not preserved for appeal unless an objection was lodged at the time the evidence was offered. Also holds that such a claim, without more, does not assert fundamental error.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

League of Women Voters, et al. v. Todd Rokita

49S02-1001-CV-50
Civil. Affirms trial court dismissal of challenge to state’s voter identification law. The case presents only facial constitutional challenges. It is within the power of the legislature to require voters to present photo ID at the polls. Justice Boehm dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael L. Smith v. State of Indiana
52A04-0909-CR-504
Criminal. Affirms Smith’s 7-year sentence following guilty plea to auto theft, institutional criminal mischief, and arson. Reverses condition of probation that says unfavorable results of Smith’s polygraph examinations on drug use and drug trafficking would constitute a probation violation. The use of those tests is improper as found in Hoeppner. Remands for trial court to amend Smith’s conditions of probation to say positive results may be used against him in a probation-revocation proceedings and may constitute a violation of probation.

Brightpoint, Inc. and Brightpoint Europe A/S v. Steen F. Pedersen
49A02-0912-CV-1196
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Brightpoint’s complaint against Pedersen. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Brightpoint and Brightpoint Europe’s motion to strike nor in dismissing the complaint on the basis of comity.

Stacey Fowler v. State of Indiana
49A02-0910-CR-1037
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery. The victim’s booking card from a prior, unrelated arrest was admissible under the public records exception to the hearsay rule, the introduction of the booking information didn’t violate Fowler’s Sixth Amendment confrontation rights, she failed to established she was prejudiced as a result of the admission, and any alleged error in the exclusion of the arresting officers’ out-of-court statements was waived for failure to make an offer of proof.

A.S. v. State of Indiana
10A01-0908-JV-423
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent. Finds A.S.’s purported waiver of her right to counsel did not comport with constitutional requirements. The constitutional violation was fundamental error and her initial detention was improper.

John Bragg and Built on Foundation, Inc. v. City of Muncie and The Housing Authority
18A04-0912-CV-725
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of City of Muncie and the Muncie Housing Authority on Bragg’s claim for tortious interference with a contract. Thus, the designated evidence establishes that the agreement between Weatherly and Bragg may very well have violated the requirements of Indiana Code Section 36-1-2-1 et seq., which would have rendered the contract void ab initio.

John Offett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-687
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery.

C.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0909-JV-842
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication for committing dangerous possession of a firearm by a child, a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult.

Eddie D. Lowe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
58A01-0912-CR-615
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Michael K. Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-0909-CR-438
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct sentence.

Carmen Kelleher, et al. v. Carol Mason, as personal representative of the Estate of Donald W. Mason (NFP)
45A03-0912-CV-598
Civil. Affirms declaratory judgment in favor of Donald Mason’s estate.

Patton Homes, LLC, et al. v. Robert Bellows, et al. (NFP)
03A04-0906-CV-358
Civil. Reverses finding that Patton was bound by Robert Bellows’ contractual obligation to the City of Columbus to provide the sidewalks in question.

Jermaine J. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0910-CR-591
Criminal. Reverses order Johnson pay $100 supplemental public defender service fee and remands.

Danny T. Dunlap v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0907-PC-620
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Lawrence Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0908-CR-732
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A voluntary manslaughter.

Thaddeus J. Zysk v. Jennifer K. Zysk (NFP)
48A02-0912-CV-1236
Civil. Affirms order granting Jennifer Zysk’s request to relocate to California with parties’ two minor children.

Jon Marc Kaetzel and Beverly K. Kaetzel v. The Carl Kaetzel Trust, et al. (NFP)
74A01-1001-PL-30
Civil plenary. Reverses judgment against Jon and Beverly Kaetzel on the trusts’ breach of trust claim. Remands with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Jon and Beverly Kaetzel on the claim and to rule on all remaining claims. Affirms judgment for Carl Kaetzel on prejudgment interest and remands with instructions to calculate the amount owed.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.G. & J.R.; A.R. v. IDCS (NFP)
20A05-1001-JT-21
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Richard Joslyn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0908-CR-460
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony stalking and four counts of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Guardianship of Alice L. Schoonover (NFP)
84A01-0904-CV-207
Civil. Affirms order that Margaret Ditteon reimburse the Estate of Alice L. Schoonover for funds misappropriated by a woman who preceded Ditteon as guardian.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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