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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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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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