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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. 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

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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