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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 work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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