Opinions March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Leonard Thomas v. Keith Butts, et al.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Vacates dismissal of Thomas’ lawsuit against prison officials alleging deliberate indifference to his epilepsy in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The judge dismissed the suit without determining if Thomas was at fault for not paying the initial filing fee.

Indiana Supreme Court
In re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of G.P., a Minor Child, and His Mother, J.A. v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
Juvenile. Vacates judgment terminating J.A.’s parental rights. J.A. was denied her statutory right to counsel during the course of the CHINS proceedings below and those proceedings flowed directly into an action to terminate her parental rights and (in a separate action) adopt out her child.

Howard Justice v. American Family Insurance Company
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment to American Family and remands for further proceedings. Concludes Justice is entitled to recover the remaining $25,000 from American Family under the terms of his underinsured motorist policy limit because the set-off using workers’ compensation benefits in his case would reduce the policy below the statutory minimum. Chief Justice Dickson concurs in part.

Friday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service v. Settlers Life Insurance Company
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of Settlers’ motion for summary judgment in which the court deemed that Settlers’ insurance product did not fall within the statutory confines of the Pre-Need Act. Settlers sells an at-need product that fulfills different needs than a pre-need product, so the trial court correctly granted summary judgment in its favor when it determined that at-need contracts and services do not fall within the scope of the Pre-Need Act.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.D., S.D., and I.D., Minor Children, and D.D., Father v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Cleveland Munoz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Jason Roudebush v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Beverly K. Oswald v. CNB National Lending, LLC, Bryce A. Bly, Eric Swedenburg and Andrea Swedenburg (NFP)
Civil collection. Affirms order in favor of CNB, Bly and the Swedenburgs that concluded they did not breach the settlement and release agreement. Affirms separate award of attorney fees.

David Lee Robinson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony failure to register as a sex offender.

C.B. v. G.N. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order requiring M.D.B. to assume the surname of his father G.N.

Mary Sparks v. Harborside Nursing Home (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms denial of claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

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


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  1. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  3. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  4. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well