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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. 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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