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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for murder.

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

Ernest Wireman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony robbery.

Shawn McDonald v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Tyson Keplinger v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petitions for post-conviction relief.



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  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon