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Opinions June 8, 2011

June 8, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Randy Edward Johnson v. State of Indiana
53S01-1106-CR-335
Criminal. Johnson failed to establish that his trial counsel was burdened by a conflict of interest sufficient to trigger the Sixth Amendment duty of inquiry under Holloway or Sullivan. Under similar circumstances, though, a judge should do more than simply pass a complaint by a defendant to the public defender’s office.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Donna Gibson v. G. David Bojrab, M.D., et al.
02A05-1008-CT-497
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Dr. Bojrab and Pain Management Associates PC on Gibson’s medical malpractice claim. To the extent the issue was properly preserved, Gibson didn’t establish that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of the medical review panel’s conclusion in an unrelated case against Bojrab.

Cynthia Perdue v. Greater Lafayette Health Services d/b/a Home Hospital
79A05-1011-CT-687
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Home Hospital on Perdue’s complaint alleging negligence and seeking damages for bodily injuries. The trial court erred when it concluded her complaint is barred by a statute of repose. Remands for further proceedings.

Guideone Insurance Co., as Subrogee of Andrew Alexander and Michael Schafstall v. U.S. Water Systems, Inc., and Lowe's Home Centers, Inc.
49A05-1009-CT-569
Civil tort. Affirms grant of partial summary judgment to Lowe’s on the scope of liablity. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Guideone on the issue of liability because an issue of material fact remains. Reverses grant of U.S. Water’s motion to dismiss because the flood damage that resulted from the apparent failure of the water system resulted in physical damage to “other property,” a claim under which Guideone could potentially recover. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Baker dissents in part.

Michael K. Arthur v. State of Indiana
28A01-1008-CR-489
Criminal. Reverses order that denied Arthur eligibility for credit time while placed on home detention in a community corrections program. A reasonable construction of the statute, as amended and consistent with its purpose, finds that Arthur may earn credit time during his placement on home detention. Affirms modification of Arthur’s sentence.

Evelyn Garrard, by and through her Attorney-in-fact, Ronald D. Garrard v. Debra L. Teibel and Douglas Grimmer, and Debra Lindsay
45A04-1003-PL-229
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Evelyn Garrard’s children, Debra Teibel and Douglas Grimmer, following their counterclaim and third-party complaint in Robert Garrard’s action against them for damages, seeking invalidation of Garrard’s power of attorney over Evelyn. The appellate court is unable to discern Garrard’s basis for appeal.

Charles Price v. Delmar Kuchaes

45A04-1007-CT-467
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Kuchaes on the theory of judicial estoppel for Price’s failure to disclose this malpractice action in his Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. Price has standing to pursue his legal malpractice action. Affirms denial of summary judgment as to damages to Price. Issues of material fact remain such that Price isn’t entitled to summary judgment as to Kuchaes’ liability for malpractice. Remands for further proceedings.

Terri L. Mozingo v. Timothy Pursifull (NFP)
24A04-1011-DR-677
Domestic relation. Reverses child support entered in favor of Pursifull and remands with instructions.

Chad Byrd v. State of Indiana (NFP)
54A01-1101-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea but mentally ill to murder.

Anthony Welkie v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A04-1006-CR-443
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony child molesting.

Tana Dulin v. Sun Mortgage Co., LLC a/k/a Sun Mortgage, LLC, and Wendy Creed (NFP)
29A04-1008-PL-482
Civil plenary. Affirms award of damages to Dulin in her successful suit against Sun Mortgage and Creed.

Troy L. McMurtry v. Sabrina L. McMurtry (NFP)
82A01-1008-DR-485
Domestic relation. Affirms order granting Sabrina McMurtry’s petition to modify the pre-existing parenting time schedule, calculating father’s child support obligation, and denying Troy McMurtry’s request for attorney fees.

Brandon Gifford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A05-1010-CR-707
Criminal. Affirms finding of being a habitual substance offender.

Thomas A. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
38A04-1008-CR-478
Criminal. Affirms Smith’s sentence following a guilty plea to murder, but reverses the imposition of a $10,000 fine. Reverses sentence following a finding of Smith being in contempt of court. Remands for further proceedings.

Jeffrey Randolph v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1010-CR-1104
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony criminal recklessness, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  2. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  3. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  4. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

  5. Put aside all the marijuana concerns, we are talking about food and fiber uses here. The federal impediments to hemp cultivation are totally ridiculous. Preposterous. Biggest hemp cultivators are China and Europe. We get most of ours from Canada. Hemp is as versatile as any crop ever including corn and soy. It's good the governor laid the way for this, regrettable the buffoons in DC stand in the way. A statutory relic of the failed "war on drugs"

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