Opinions March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Rules that the Indiana Court of Appeals was correct in declining Edward Dawson’s belated appeal of the trial court’s decision to revoke Dawson’s probation and impose a six-year sentence. States that the COA correctly decided that belated appeals from orders revoking probation are not presently available pursuant to Post-Conviction Rule 2, as the sanction imposed when probation is revoked does not qualify as a “sentence” under the rule, and therefore Dawson is not an “eligible defendant.” Grants transfer and adopts and incorporates by reference the opinion of the Court of Appeals under Appellate Rule 58(A)(1).

Indiana Court of Appeals
Mike Hawa v. Gerald R. Moore
Small claim. Affirms small claims court ruling in favor of a countersuit against property owner Mike Hawa, stating Hawa failed to provide contractor Gerald Moore with adequate assurance that Hawa would pay him for his services. States that small claims court erred by awarding Moore the cost of transporting materials after the lawsuit was filed, saying Moore should have used reasonable diligence to mitigate. Reverses with instructions to reduce Moore’s damage award amount.

Connie Brumley, et al. v. Commonwealth Business College Education Corp. d/b/a Brown Mackie College
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s order compelling arbitration, ruling that the plaintiffs’ actions challenge Brown Mackie’s entire enrollment agreement, not just its arbitration clause. Judge Barnes concurs in a separate opinion.

Ricky D. Whitaker v. Travis M. Becker, et al.
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s decision to deny Ricky Whitaker’s motion to correct error, stating the court’s decision was an abuse of discretion. Reverses trial court’s decision dismissing the case and awarding $3,700 to Becker’s counsel as reasonable attorney fees for unacceptable conduct. Orders sanction of Whitaker’s counsel with orders to pay $625 in reasonable attorney fees to Becker’s counsel, and remands for further consideration.

Francisco Ponce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s sentencing of Francisco Ponce on convictions of two counts of Class B felony aggravated battery, Class C felony battery, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Eddie J. Williams, Jr. v. State Employees' Appeals Commission (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s dismissal of appellant’s petition for judicial review of a decision by the State Employees’ Appeals Commission.

The Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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