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
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
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
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
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
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)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

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

City of Valparaiso, Indiana v. Richard and Janet Brown (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Dean R. Pressler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.