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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. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  2. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

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