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Opinions March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Scott C. Cole and Jennifer A. Cole v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
10-2194
U.S. Tax Court, Judge Diane L. Kroupa.
Tax. Affirms finding that the Coles omitted more than $1.2 million of income and more than $1.3 million of self-employment income from their 2001 joint tax return and that they fraudulently avoided tax liability. The Coles did not show clear error in the Tax Court’s finding that because they did not produce credible documentary or other evidence showing otherwise, that the commissioner’s reconstruction of their income was “reasonable and substantially accurate.” The Coles failed to show that the Tax Court clearly erred in finding that Scott may not avoid tax liability on his income by assigning it to another corporation when substantively his Bentley Group ownership never changed as evidenced by his continued dominion and control over the partnership’s funds.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Sean T. Ryan v. Dee Anna Ryan
71A03-1009-DR-453
Domestic relation. Reverses denial of Sean Ryan’s motion for relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(8) regarding the prices set for the sale of real estate as listed in the settlement agreement. The trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for relief from judgment without hearing pertinent evidence. Remands with instructions.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Inc. v. Metro School District of Lawrence Twp., et al.
49A02-1004-PL-427
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Joseph Piper and other parents’ requests for declaratory and injunctive relief and the judgments in favor of Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township and Concetta Raimondi, as superintendent of the school district, in a suit challenging the termination of a shuttle bus service paid for by the township to the private schools in the township. Indiana Code Section 20-7-11-1 doesn’t mandate that the school district must provide special school bus routes and free shuttle bus services not already in effect for the sole benefit of nonpublic school students.

Arnaldo Trabucco v. Pamela Trabucco
03A05-1003-DR-195
Domestic relation. Affirms the trial court’s use of income averaging to compute Arnaldo Trabucco’s child support obligation. The trial court did not err in using an income averaging approach to calculate his weekly gross income for child support and in including funds set aside for their son’s college and other accounts within the marital estate. Remands with instructions to consider whether the Home Federal IRA and IRA #1491 were consolidated into another IRA and therefore should not have been counted separately. Remands to also provide a detailed explanation of how the trial court arrived at the specific value assigned to a coin collection.

Capitol Construction Services v. Farah, LLC
49A04-1006-PL-354
Civil plenary. Affirms order denying Capitol Construction Services’ motion to dismiss demand for arbitration in favor of Farah LLC. Farah has not waived its right to arbitrate and equity favors the result reached by the lower court.

Steven A. Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1004-CR-233
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony and Class C felony child molesting.  

G.F. v. R.F. (NFP)
26A01-1008-DR-395
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of father’s petition for modification of child custody.

Cynthia Taylor v. Community Hospitals of Indiana, Inc. (NFP)
49A04-1008-PL-499
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Community Hospitals of Indiana after Taylor fell and was injured in the hospital.

Ashley Straub v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A05-1007-CR-458
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of dealing in a schedule I controlled substance as Class B felonies, and one count of Class D felony possession of a schedule I controlled substance.

Alois Cronauer v. Starke Co. Jail, et al. (NFP)
75A03-1009-PL-496
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of motion for relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B).

Kristin M. Escamilla v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1009-CR-570
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in narcotics.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court dismissed one appeal for the week ending March 25.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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