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Opinions March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
Joseph D. Hardiman and Jaketa L. Patterson, as Co-Administrators of the Estate of Britney R. Meux, Deceased v. Jason R. Cozmanoff
45S03-1309-CT-619
Civil tort. Affirms the trial court’s ordering the limited stay of discovery regarding only Cozmanoff in the estate’s wrongful death lawsuit against him and requiring him to answer the complaint. The civil suit was brought while criminal charges for Meux’s death were still pending. Notes the ruling does not mean the trial court was constitutionally required to impose the stay but that it did not abuse its discretion by so doing. Remands for further proceedings.

Thursday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana
49S04-1308-CR-534
Criminal. Concludes that this appeal – taken after Alexander’s prison sentence was imposed but before the question of restitution was decided – should not be dismissed as premature. Remands to the Court of Appeals for resolution on the merits.

Indiana Court of Appeals
J.L. v. State of Indiana
49A04-1306-JV-297
Juvenile. Affirms true finding that J.L. committed what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult. Judge Barnes concurs in result. Finds that J.L. and his mother were not provided the opportunity for a meaningful consultation, but the admittance of J.L.’s statement was a harmless error. The state presented sufficient evidence of a probative nature from which a reasonable trier of fact could find he committed the offense.

Donald R. Walker, D.D.S. v. State Board of Dentistry
49A02-1307-MI-593
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of Walker’s petition for judicial review of a decision by the State Board of Dentistry. Substantial evidence supports the board’s finding that Walker violated I.C. 25-1-9-4(a)(4)(B) by using the “hand-over-mouth” technique on Patient A, and the board properly found that Walker violated 828 IAC 3-1-6.5(c)(10) by knowingly failing to provide “continual and direct supervision by a person trained in basic cardiac life support” to that same patient.

Brittney L. Romero v. Teddy Brady and Advantage Tank Lines, LLC
72A05-1308-CT-471
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Brady and Advantage Tank Lines on Romero’s complaint alleging negligence. Because Brady owed Romero a duty of care and the questions of breach and proximate cause are not undisputed, the entry of summary judgment in favor of the appellees was improper.

Caylin P. Black v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1212-PC-981
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

George T. Bonin v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
93A02-1304-EX-376
Agency action. Affirms determination that Bonin was ineligible for unemployment benefits.

City of Valparaiso, Indiana v. Richard and Janet Brown (NFP)
64A03-1307-PL-239
Civil plenary. Affirms order denying the city’s motion for summary judgment as to the Browns’ negligence claim and denying its motion to strike certain exhibits designated and relied upon by the Browns to defend against the city’s motion for summary judgment.

Vincent J. Castaneda v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1310-CR-416
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony disarming a law enforcement officer and two counts of Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Jennifer Fleming v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1307-CR-257
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine; Class D felony possession of more than 10 grams of a precursor; and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia or a synthetic drug.

Joseph Mike Barnett v. JDH Contracting (NFP)
32A01-1307-CT-332
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of JDH. As a matter of law, JDH did not owe Barnett a duty pursuant to contract, but a genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether JDH assumed a duty to Barnett through its affirmative conduct.

Shawn Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-607
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Dean R. Pressler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1309-CR-351
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony child molesting, Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class D felony child seduction.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.

 

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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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