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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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