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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. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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