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.
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
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.
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.
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.