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Opinions March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Indiana Tax Court issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court

Charlie White, et. al. v. Indiana Democratic Party, through its Chairman , Daniel J. Parker
49S00-1202-MI-73
Miscellaneous. Reverses a decision by Marion Circuit Judge Lou Rosenberg, which found that Charlie White was not eligible to take office following the November 2010 election because he had improperly registered to vote at an address where he was not living. Justice Brent Dickson concurred in result, but wrote separately to say that he agreed with the election contest being dismissed because he sees the Legislature’s attempt to impose additional eligibility qualifications on candidates as unconstitutional and not a basis to contest someone’s eligibility for office.

Michael R. Kole, Joseph L. Weingarten, and Glenn J. Brown, et al. v. Scott Faultless, Daniel Henke, Eileen Pritchard, Stuart Easley, et al.
94S00-1112-CQ-692
Certifiable question. Responding to a certifiable question from Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the Supreme Court held that Indiana’s Government Modernization Act does allow a town to reorganize as a second class city wherein a city council elected at large then elects a mayor. If voters approve of referendums to that effect in November, the reorganization of the town of Fishers and Fall Creek Township may proceed as proposed.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Canon Harper v. State of Indiana
10A01-1012-CR-687
Criminal. Affirms convictions for dealing in cocaine, possession of cocaine, dealing in a narcotic drug, and possession of a narcotic drug, all Class A felonies; two counts of resisting law enforcement, battery of a law enforcement officer, and possession of paraphernalia, all Class A misdemeanors; and maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony. Holds that even though Harper did not possess the contraband found in a search of a purse and hotel room, the fact that the purse was in his car and the hotel room was rented in his name was sufficient to establish constructive possession.

Ayanna Wright and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 62, Local 4009, AFL-CIO v. City of Gary, Indiana
45A04-1107-PL-362
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s determination that an arbitrator in a collective bargaining agreement dispute exceeded his powers when he determined that Wright should be placed into another job, despite a city ordinance that stated the new position was not covered by the CBA.

Irmina Gradus-Pizlo, M.D., and Select Specialty Hospital Indianapolis, Inc. v. Donald Acton
49A02-1106-CT-503
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s denial of motion for summary judgment in favor of Acton, holding that genuine issues of material fact exist with respect to the commencement of the statute of limitations for Acton’s proposed medical malpractice complaint.

Brad A. Altevogt, et al. v. Dennis L. Brand, et al.
44A03-1106-MI-237
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, holding the trial court did not err in rejecting the plaintiffs’ claim of title of the disputed land by public dedication because the plat did not dedicate the Indian Trail to the public, but instead indicated that the Indian Trail was for the use of the lot owners and their guests. The trial court also properly concluded that the plaintiffs had not established all of the elements of adverse possession.

T.H. b/n/f Sonja Lynetter (Walls) Fitzgerald v. Troy Hutchison (NFP)
82A01-1109-JP-438
Juvenile. Reverses trial court’s order suspending parenting time for and issuing protective order against father. Affirms court’s finding that mother was in contempt.

Susan R. May v. State of Indiana (NFP)
47A05-1103-CR-178
Criminal. Affirms sentence for murder.

Charles R. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
78A04-1110-CR-585
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony dealing in a Schedule II controlled substance.

Ernest Wireman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A05-1008-CR-545
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for murder, Class A felony attempted murder and Class B felony arson.

Odonis D. Parker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1108-CR-381
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony robbery.

Shawn McDonald v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A05-1110-CR-529
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony possession of cocaine.

KSM, LLC v. Lighthouse Storage, LLC, Lawyers Title Ins. Corp., Inc., and Kevin and Stephen Corp. (NFP)
02A03-1106-PL-232
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Lighthouse Storage, holding court did not abuse its discretion in ordering rescission of the purchase contract. Reverses trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Lawyers Title on KSM’s negligent misrepresentation claim and grant of summary judgment in favor of a KSM manager on Lighthouse’s actual fraud claim. Remands for further proceedings.

John Mitchem v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1108-CR-421
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Tyson Keplinger v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1104-PC-359
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petitions for post-conviction relief.

 

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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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