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Opinions March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012
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The Indiana Supreme Court issued the following opinion after IL deadline on Wednesday:
Loparex, LLC v. MPI Release Technologies, LLC, Gerald Kerber, and Stephen Odders
94S00-1109-CQ-546
Certified question. Answers three questions certified from U.S. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in the Southern District of Indiana. Holds that Wabash Railroad Co. v. Young, 162 Ind. 102, 69 N.E. 1003 (1904), is no longer good law because it precludes individuals who’ve voluntarily left employment from pursuing a claim under Indiana’s Blacklisting Statute. The justices also held that attorney fees are not an element of compensatory damages under the Blacklisting Statute and that an employer’s suit against a former employee to protect trade secrets is not a basis for recovery under the statute.

Thursday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.


Indiana Supreme Court
Sheila Perdue, et al. v. Michael A. Gargano, et al.
49S02-1107-PL-437
Civil plenary. Reverses in part Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer’s ruling on challenge to Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s automated system of processing claims for Medicaid, food stamps, and temporary assistance. Holds that the FSSA’s denial notices are insufficiently explanatory but that the agency may deny an application when that person fails to cooperate in the eligibility determination process. Affirms in part the trial court’s grant of Sheila Perdue’s summary judgment motion on the grounds that she’s entitled to reasonable accommodations in applying for benefits but that does not necessarily require a caseworker or case management services.

Hunt Construction Group, Inc., and Mezzetta Construction, Inc. v. Shannon D. Garrett
49S02-1106-CT-365
Civil tort. Reverses decision by Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed in case involving the employee of a concrete subcontractor injured in the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium. Finds construction manager did not have a legal duty by contract terms or action, and holds that construction manager cannot be held liable for workplace negligence. Justice Brent Dickson dissents, believing that material issues of fact exist about the construction manager’s duty of care and summary judgment is precluded for both parties.

State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co. v. Flexdar, Inc. and RTS Realty
49S02-1104-PL-199
Civil plenary. Affirms Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele’s judgment in favor of Flexdar, holding that the language of a pollution exclusion in a general commercial liability policy is ambiguous and should be construed against State Automobile Insurance Co. and in favor of coverage. Justice Steven David concurs in result, and Justice Frank Sullivan and Chief Justice Randall Shepard dissent in a separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
New Albany Historic Preservation Commission and City of New Albany v. Bradford Realty, Inc.
22A01-1108-PL-365
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part ruling by Special Judge Daniel Moore, finding that Bradford Realty was not entitled to actual notice of potential historic district designation and was required to obtain a certificate when it replaced the property’s original siding. Appellate judges reverse trial court’s grant of summary judgment for Bradford Realty and grant summary judgment to the historic preservation commission. Affirm the judge’s denial of summary judgment for Bradford Realty on inverse condemnation claim. Judge Ezra Friedlander dissents in separate opinion.

Lawane Chaney on Behalf of Himself and All Others Similarly Situated v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc.
49A05-0905-CV-263
Civil. Court issues rehearing on an order on a motion for appellate fees and costs, affirming its original holding but finding that it made two errors – that the record does not support the finding that Ron Weldy informed the trial court of the stay in his motion to compel, and that the record does not support the court’s prior statement that Weldy persisted on the theory that Clarian Health had agreed to provide discovery after the trial court vacated its motion to compel. The court found those errors are insignificant and do not change the outcome of the original order. The judges also denied Clarian’s request for additional fees and costs incurred in responding to the rehearing petition.

Donald L. Webb, III v. Sheriff Kenneth A. Murphy and Town of Brookville, Indiana; Terry Mitchum (NFP)
24A04-1104-CT-197
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s ruling in favor of Franklin County Sheriff and Town of Brookville on claims of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, finding the fundamental error doctrine does not apply and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in exempting the defendants’ expert from a separation of witnesses order.

In Re: The Marriage of Lisa Mae Slayback Gillispie v. Danny Lee Gillispie (NFP)
15A01-1108-DR-364
Divorce. Affirms trial court’s division of martial property.

The Marriage of: Donald J. Shaughnessy, Jr. v. Lyn A. Shaughnessy (NFP)
06A01-1107-DR-347
Divorce. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny an order for equal division of a marital estate.

Demitrus L. Grant v. The Bank of New York (NFP)
49A02-1104-MF-485
Mortgage foreclosure. Dismisses Demitrus Grant’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction, finding that the trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss the complaint against Grant is not a final appealable order and Grant didn’t ask the trial court to certify the issue for interlocutory appeal.

Kenny Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1107-CR-611
Criminal. Affirms Class A felony rape and Class D felony auto theft convictions and aggregate 40-year sentence.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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