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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. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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