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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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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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