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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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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