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Opinions March 2, 2012

March 2, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Brian Scott Hartman v. State of Indiana
68A01-1106-CR-264
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Hartman’s motion to suppress a statement he made to the police regarding involvement in the death of his father. Hartman initiated further communication by asking whether the search warrant had been served and whether anything had been found, and then told the detective that he wanted to speak with him.

Tonya J. Clark v. Review Board of the Dept. of Workforce Development and PCI Holdings, LLC (NFP)
93A02-1108-EX-800
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Gary W. Moody v. City of Franklin (NFP)
41A04-1106-PL-294
Civil plenary. Dismisses the denial of a petition for preliminary injunction against Franklin.

1st Call Home Health LLC and Cardinal Health Systems, Inc. v. Pamela Porter and Abbott Laboratories, Inc. (NFP)
18A05-1110-PL-528
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of summary judgment in a suit filed 1st Call Home Health and Cardinal Health Systems filed by Pamela Porter.

Bryan Keith Hughes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
06A04-1106-CR-385
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class B felony attempted rape and Class D felonies domestic battery and criminal confinement.

Derek Rucker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1107-CR-349
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Bernard O. Tidey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
66A05-1110-CR-560
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person.

Dennis L. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1108-CR-744
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony operating a motor vehicle with an ACE of 0.08 or more.

Chadd B. Langston v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1105-CR-466
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery as a Class C felony as well as adjudication as a habitual offender.
 

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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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