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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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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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