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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 grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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