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Opinions March 29, 2012

March 29, 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
Ronyai Thompson v. State of Indiana
49A05-1106-CR-323
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Thompson’s motion to dismiss the charges against him. The court did not err when it granted the state’s peremptory challenges as to the two African-American members of the venire. There was sufficient evidence from which the jury could infer Thompson intended to exercise control over the cocaine.

Mary E. Santelli, as Administrator of the Estate of James F. Santelli v. Abu M. Rahmatullah, Individually and d/b/a Super 8 Motel
49A04-1011-CT-704
Civil tort. Concludes that the very duty doctrine was not abrogated by the Indiana Tort Claim Act. In the new trial on the issue of allocation of fault, the trial court should instruct the jury on the very duty doctrine. Reverses and remands for further proceedings.

Brent Myers v. Jarod Coats
49A04-1104-PL-208
Civil plenary. Coats had a liberty interest in not erroneously being labeled as a sex offender, so the trial court did not err in granting his motion for partial summary judgment and denying Myers’ cross-motion for summary judgment as to this issue. The trial court did not err in concluding that Coats was not afforded due process. Finds Coats has not carried his burden to show that there is a genuine issue of material fact establishing that Myers personally deprived Coats of a liberty interest and failed to afford him sufficient process, so summary judgment for Myers should have been granted on this issue.  

Todd J. Crider v. State of Indiana
91A05-1108-CR-389
Criminal. Dismisses Crider’s appeal of his sentence of three years for Class D felony theft, enhanced by three years based on his status as a habitual offender. Crider waived his right to challenge his sentence as erroneous. Judge Riley dissents.

In the Matter of the Paternity of S.C.; K.C. v. C.C. and B.H.
30A01-1107-JP-322
Juvenile. Affirms the grant of B.H.’s verified petition for relief from judgment for fraud upon the court. Mother failed to establish a prima facie error in the order to set aside the paternity order.  Judge Riley dissents.

Ziese & Sons Excavating, Inc. v. Boyer Construction Corp. and Boyer Construction Group Corp.
45A03-1104-PL-180
Civil plenary. The trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Boyer Construction Group as Ziese presented evidence sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Boyer Construction Group and Boyer Construction Corp. are alter egos and whether Boyer Construction Group is Boyer Construction Corp.’s successor. Remands for further proceedings to determine whether the Group’s corporate veil should be pierced and whether the fraudulent sale of assets or mere continuation exceptions apply.

Buck Gleason v. State of Indiana
48A02-1106-CR-630
Criminal. Revises Gleason’s sentence from 11 years to six years following his convictions of battery, criminal recklessness and failure to stop after an accident that resulted in injury. The evidence supports the convictions, but the sentence imposed was inappropriate based on the nature of the offenses and Gleason’s character. Remands with instructions.

East Porter County School Corp. v. Gough, Inc., and Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America
64A04-1109-PL-471
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Gough and Travelers and against the school corporation. Based upon the record and under the circumstances presented in this case, it is evident that there was not a meeting of the minds regarding the bid amount and thus that the school did not acquire the right to enforce Gough’s erroneous or mistaken bid. Agrees that Travelers should be released from its bid bond because its principal does not have any liability on the underlying contract.

Shamir Chappell v. State of Indiana
89A01-1106-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms the state presented sufficient evidence to support the Class A felony burglary conviction and the trial court did not err in imposing an aggregate sentence of 70 years. But Chappell’s convictions of Class A felony burglary and Class B felony burglary constitute double jeopardy. Remands with instructions.

Michael Woodson v. State of Indiana
49A02-1106-CR-543
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Woodson’s encounter with police did not rise to the level of a Terry stop for which reasonable suspicion is required, but once the officer smelled alcohol on Woodson and noticed his impaired speech, it evolved into a Terry stop.

DeLage Landen Financial Services, Inc. v. Community Mental Health Center, Inc.
15A05-1107-CC-366
Civil collection. Reverses denial of DeLage Landen’s motion for summary judgment on a breach of contract complaint against Community Mental Health Center. The trial court abused its discretion in considering Community’s late-filed response on summary judgment and that, considering only the properly designated evidence, summary judgment should be granted to DeLage.

Danny R. Bailey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1108-CR-398
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A felony child molesting, Class C felony child molesting and Class B felony incest.

Gerald C. Vickers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1109-PC-510
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Euranus Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1103-PC-195
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Frank R. Keeton v. Linda K. Keeton (NFP)
67A01-1108-DR-00344
Domestic relation. Affirms dissolution order where the trial court assigned a value of $1.2 million to the parties’ commercial real estate.

Angela D. Driskell, Bob R. Dehaven, and Blonnie V. Dehaven v. Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. (NFP)
82A01-1108-PL-358
Civil plenary. Dismisses appeal involving property that was the subject of a mechanic’s lien.

Paul Rogers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1108-CR-772
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Kimberly A. Pieper v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1110-CR-482
Criminal. Dismisses challenge of Pieper’s habitual substance offender adjudication.

Dejuan Parker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1106-CR-557
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana.

Standard Coating Service, Inc. v. Walsh Construction Co. (NFP)
49A02-1109-CT-922
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment on Standard’s claims for breach of contract and for damages as a third-party beneficiary to a contract between Walsh and the city of Indianapolis.

Jesse Michael Villareal, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1107-CR-337
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery and Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy and sentence for battery.


 

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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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