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Opinions June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Bruce Ryan v. State of Indiana
49S02-1311-CR-734
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor, finding no fundamental error by prosecutor’s statements during closing argument. The prosecutor improperly urged the jury to convict Ryan for reasons other than his guilt, but his failure to contemporaneously object and enable the trial court to take corrective action results in procedural default on his appellate claim.

Wednesday’s opinions
Lori Nicklas v. Von Tobel Corporation, Individually, and d/b/a Von Tobel Lumber; and Von Tobel Lumber Company, Inc.
64A03-1310-CC-429
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Von Tobel Corp. and the denial of Nicklas’ motion for summary judgment on the company’s action to recover money owed on a promissory note executed by Nicklas and her husband. An agreed judgment against one obligor does not merge and extinguish the obligation of another person jointly and severally liable on the same contract, so Van Tobel was free to seek a judgment against Lori Nicklas after an agreed judgment with Shawn Nicklas had been entered.

In the Matter of the Supervised Estate of Mildred Borgwald, Deceased v. Old National Bank and Raelynn Pound
84A01-1302-ES-80
Estate, supervised. Affirms decision in favor of Old National Bank and Pound, entitling the bank to foreclose on the mortgage and equity line of credit against the estate. The trial court properly excluded the testimony of the estate’s proffered expert witness, Dr. Robert Lalouche pursuant to Evid. R. 702; the estate was not denied the opportunity to make an offer of proof regarding Lalouche’s anticipated testimony; the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting redacted, certified copies of medical records; and ONB’s mortgage was not invalidated.

Michael W. Palmby v. Karen M. Palmby
32A04-1310-DR-506
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Michael Palmby’s verified petition for revocation of spousal maintenance. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied his request and instead modified the payment terms of the accumulated rehabilitative maintenance.

Indiana Insurance Company v. Patricia Kopetsky, and KB Home Indiana Inc.
49A02-1304-PL-340
Civil plenary. KB Home has successfully alleged “property damage” caused by an “occurrence” pursuant to the policies and that the policies’ “expected and intended” and “contractual liability” exclusions do not work to bar coverage in this case. However, the designated evidence generates a question of fact as to whether the known loss doctrine works to bar coverage in this case, and so remands for trial on that question only. Reverses the trial court’s determination that Indiana Insurance is obligated to indemnify Kopetsky as a question not yet ripe for adjudication and affirms that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of Indiana Insurance on her bad faith counterclaim.

Marilee Garrison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1312-CR-599
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class C felony conspiracy to commit theft.

Shemika L. Boyd v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Amazon Com INDC, LLC (NFP)
93A02-1310-EX-886
Agency action. Affirms decision that Boyd is ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Corday C. Dixon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1311-CR-448
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for two counts of Class C felony child molesting and one count of Class A felony child molesting.

Dennis Daniels v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1310-CR-517
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness.

Nathan Ferguson and Deanna Ferguson v. Shiel Sexton Company, Inc. d/b/a Shiel Sexton, And WR Dunkin & Son, Incorporated; Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve, Inc.; et al (NFP)
29A02-1310-CT-839
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Shiel Sexton on the Fergusons’ negligence claim.

Aubrey Thompson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-606
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Jason Severs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A05-1310-CR-527
Criminal. Affirms sentence for securities fraud as a Class B felony, unlawful acts related to offer of sale of a security as a Class C felony and violating broker-dealer registration requirements as a Class C felony.

Jacob Lutz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1310-CR-451
Criminal. Affirms determination that Lutz is a sexually violent predator.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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