Opinions March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Bay Colony Civic Corporation v. Pearl Gasper Trust and Bruce F. Waller
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling in favor of Gasper and Waller, holding that a public easement to a reservoir also grants access to the water and not just to the land adjacent to the water, and that a neighborhood association did not violate its bylaws by spending money to improve access to the lake for residents. Remands to the trial court to grant the association’s motion for partial summary judgment.

In the Matter of the Support of B.J.R.: B.J.R., by next friend, R.J.C. v. C.J.R., Sr.
Reciprocal support. Affirms court order reducing a father’s child support payment that had been ordered by a Pennsylvania court. The panel held that sufficient evidence was presented to establish that either the father’s circumstances had changed so substantially as to make continuing terms unreasonable, or that the order differs by more than 20 percent from what would be ordered under Indiana’s child support guidelines.

John Brewer v. Cathy Jo Bowman (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s ruling that an automobile was a valid inter vivos gift to Bowman.

Town of Clarksville, Indiana v. Chris Conte and Mary Ann Conte (NFP)
Civil tort. Vacated the judgment of the trial court and remanded with instructions. Ruled the trial court’s findings were not sufficient to support the judgment that the town had a duty, it breached that duty, the Contes’ injury was caused by the town’s breach, and the damages of $28,644.47 with post-judgment interest of 8 percent were appropriate.

In Re The Guardianship of J.M.: Christina M. Martin (Kibalko) v. William P. Hitch and Georgia L. Hitch (NFP)
Guardianship. Affirms the trial court’s denial of the mother’s petition to terminate the guardianship. Reverses and remands with instructions the trial court’s order that the mother reimburse the guardians for $1,000 paid to the guardian ad litem.  

 Mark A. Salisbury v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Post conviction. Affirms the post-conviction court’s finding that Salisbury’s plea was knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered into because he had effective assistance of trial counsel.
Gregory Leech v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of trespass, a Class A misdemeanor; and battery, a Class B misdemeanor.
Martin Reyes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Reyes’ request for post-conviction relief on the grounds his trial counsel was effective.  

Dustin James Mahler v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery, Class A misdemeanor. Ruled the incomplete jury instruction defining Class A misdemeanor battery did not result in fundamental error.

Darvin McCallister v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of McCallister’s motion to set aside his guilty pleas for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance, both Class D felonies.

Carlos Ulloa v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of dealing in cocaine, each as a Class A felony, and one count of dealing in cocaine, as a Class B felony. Finds the trial court did not err in denying Ulloa’s motion for discharge pursuant to Criminal Rule 4(B) when he was not brought to trial within 70 days of his pro se request for a speedy trial.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of D.L., minor child, and D.S., mother: D.S. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, and Child Advocates, Inc. (NFP)
Termination of parental rights. Affirms juvenile court’s judgment terminating mother’s parental rights. Finds no error in the lower court’s conclusions that the conditions leading to D.L.’s removal are unlikely to be remedied and the termination of mother’s parental rights is in the minor’s best interests.

Michael Porter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalence of 0.08 or more, a Class C misdemeanor.  

Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court released no opinions prior to IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues