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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. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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