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.
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.
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery.

C.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Michael K. Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Civil. Affirms declaratory judgment in favor of Donald Mason’s estate.

Patton Homes, LLC, et al. v. Robert Bellows, et al. (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Reverses order Johnson pay $100 supplemental public defender service fee and remands.

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

Lawrence Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A voluntary manslaughter.

Thaddeus J. Zysk v. Jennifer K. Zysk (NFP)
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)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

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

Guardianship of Alice L. Schoonover (NFP)
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 think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.