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Opinions March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana
49S02-1103-CR-176
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
87A01-1007-SC-344
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
45A04-1002-CT-66
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.
02A03-1006-CT-303
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)
49A05-1008-CR-492
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)
49A02-1011-MI-1269
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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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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