ILNews

Opinions March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Tywan D. Griffin v. State of Indiana
49A02-1007-CR-774
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, ruling the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Griffin committed the charge.

George F. Evans, Jr. v. Peggy A. Evans
12A02-1008-DR-895
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s grant of motion to compel payment in favor of James C. Michael, personal representative for the estate of Peggy A. Evans, pursuant to an amended dissolution decree. States that Peggy’s counsel advised George’s counsel that his pension plan administrator had rejected the qualified domestic relations order (QRDO) from the court, as the QRDO must state that benefits to Peggy would terminate upon her death. Peggy died before she had received a single payment from the QRDO. Michael then filed a motion to compel payment as outlined in the QRDO, or an alternative payment. Judge Riley dissents in part.

Trust of William H. Riddle; Linda Goins v. Patricia Riddle
41A04-1007-TR-447
Trust. Affirms trial court’s ruling that Goins had breached her duties as trustee for William H. Riddle by paying for expenses not allowable under specific provisions of the trust. With respect to the cross-appeal, remands to trial court to determine reasonable trial and appellate attorney fees. Statute allows that if a beneficiary successfully maintains an action to compel a trustee to perform his duties, the beneficiary is entitled to reasonable attorney fees, which includes appellate attorney fees.

Estate of Nathaniel Kappel v. Margaret Kappel
32A01-1008-ES-462
Estate, supervised. Affirms Hendricks Superior Court’s order requiring the estate of Nathaniel Kappel to pay a survivor’s allowance to his widow, Margaret Kappel, stating Margaret’s demand was not untimely, as a surviving spouse is not required to file a demand for payment, and is therefore not subject to the nine-month time period prescribed by Indiana Code Section 29-1-14-1(d).

Sheila K. Granger v. State of Indiana
10A01-1002-CR-39
Criminal. Affirms convictions of five counts of child molesting as Class A felonies, three counts of child molesting as Class C felonies and one count of Class D felony child solicitation. While some admitted evidence was not relevant to the case, other items collected from Granger’s house corroborated the testimony of witnesses, and provided sufficient evidence for a jury to base credibility findings. Finds the admission of the irrelevant evidence to be harmless. Reduces her 60-year executed sentence, citing Granger’s lack of a criminal record, her role in the community, and relative lack of substantial physical harm to the victims.

Jerry and Mary Kwolek v. Rodney and Jennifer Swickard
64A05-1006-PL-372
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s judgment in favor of Rodney and Jennifer Swickard, stating the trial court erred when it concluded the Swickards were entitled to park on an “ingress-egress” easement in front of Jerry and Mary Kwolek’s garage. An agreement between the couples does not state the Swickards were entitled to use the easement beyond ingress and egress. The Kwoleks later made improvements to the easement, which the trial court had ordered removed. But the appeals court dismissed that order, stating the improvements did not interfere with the Swickards’ ability to access their own property.

Leslie A. McCormick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1007-CR-431
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery.

D.J. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1006-EX-683
Civil. Dismisses appeal of decision in favor of the city on D.J.’s claim for unemployment insurance benefits, citing noncompliance with the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Samuel D. Manley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1008-CR-372
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony resisting law enforcement and Class C felony causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the blood.

James Whitaker, et al. v. Sandra Maskell, et al. (NFP)
60A04-1008-PL-463
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s award of attorney fees to Maskell and other defendants.

Gregory Proffitt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
24A01-1006-CR-357
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny motions for discharge pursuant to Criminal Rule 4(B).

James A. Love, et al. v. Meyer & Najem Construction, LLC (NFP)
32A01-1006-CT-317
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Meyer & Najem Construction in a suit filed after James was injured.

Ro.C. v. Ry.C. (NFP)
32A01-1009-DR-435
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order denying mother’s request to relocate to New York with the parties’ children. Dismisses mother’s appeal regarding her motion to modify child support.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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