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Opinions March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014
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The Indiana Supreme Court posted the following opinion Monday after IL deadline:
Bonnie Moryl, as Surviving Spouse and Personal Representative of the Estate of Richard A. Moryl v. Carey B. Ransone, M.D., La Porte Hospital, Dawn Forney, RN, Wanda Wakeman, RN BSBA, et al.
46S04-1403-CT-149
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a malpractice action, holding in a matter of first impression that the complaint was timely filed when it was deposited for overnight shipping with Federal Express the day before the two-year statute of limitations expired. Remands for proceedings.

Tuesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

State of Indiana v. Adrian Lotaki
32S01-1403-CR-151
Criminal. Reverses sentencing order, holding the trial court erred in calculating credit time for a battery committed while Adrian Lotaki was serving a sentence in the Department of Correction. Because sentences for crimes committed in prison are by statute served consecutively, the credit time awarded against the battery conviction effectively enabled Lotaki to serve part of his consecutive sentence concurrently. Remands for resentencing.

In re Adoption of T.L. and T.L.; M.G. v. R.J. and E.J.
02S03-1308-AD-528
Adoption. Affirms trial court adoption petition, holding that it was not clearly erroneous. Father’s consent was not needed because the trial court found he knowingly failed to provide for the care and support of his children, and in such cases statute provides the parent’s consent is not required.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael E. Hitchens v. Collection Specialists, Inc.
48A05-1306-SC-302
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Collection Specialists, Inc. for an uncollected dental bill of $3,440, rejecting Michael Hitchens’ claim that the dentist’s letter stating Hitchens had never expressed displeasure about the services was improperly admitted hearsay. The panel found Hitchens’ due process had not been denied and that rewriting the Small Claims Rules to forbid rulings based exclusively on hearsay evidence would be contrary to the courts’ mission to dispense speedy justice between parties.

Robert E. Hicks v. State of Indiana
82A01-1306-CR-256
Criminal. Affirms Hicks’ conviction of murder and 55-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Although police officers had started questioning Hicks, they stopped the interrogation and gave him a Miranda warning before he confessed. Therefore, the statements he made about beating and stabbing his girlfriend were admissible.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of B.P., C.P., and D.P., the minor children, and A.H., the Mother, and J.P., the Father: A.H. and J.P. v. IDCS (NFP)
89A04-1310-JT-525
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of A.H.’s (mother) and J.P.’s (father) parental rights to their children, B.P., C.P. and D.P.

Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Maryland v. Sheet Metal Workers' International Association Local Union No. 20, Sheet Metal Workers Local No. 20 Welfare and Benefit Fund, et al. (NFP)
03A01-1309-PL-380
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Local Union No. 20, et al. Concludes the union may properly make claims for payment of unpaid fringe benefit contributions and remitted wages for dues under the public works payment bond.

Dennis J. Turner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
06A01-1308-PC-347
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Turner’s petition for post-conviction relief.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.S. & A.S. (minor children); K.D. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
04A04-1305-JT-225
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of K.J.D.’s (mother) parental rights to her children, K.S. and A.S.

Gregory K. Cox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A05-1308-PC-376
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Cox’s petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions following a plea of guilty to two counts of attempted murder, each as a Class A felony.

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor v. Indiana Michigan Power Company and Steel Dynamics, Inc. (NFP)
93A02-1303-EX-233
Civil. Affirms Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s granting of the electric rate increase requested by Indiana Michigan Power.

Laurence F. Myers, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1308-CR-755
Criminal. Affirms 42-year sentence imposed after Myers’s pleaded guilty to burglary as a Class B felony and being a habitual offender, and auto theft as a Class C felony.

The Indiana Tax Court did not post any opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not post any Indiana opinions by 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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