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Opinions March 6, 2013

March 6, 2013
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Kimberly Heaton v. State of Indiana
48S02-1206-CR-350
Criminal. Holds the statutorily mandated preponderance of the evidence standard is the correct legal standard to be applied in a probation revocation proceeding where the state claims that the probationer committed a new criminal offense while on probation. Vacates finding Heaton violated her probation and orders a new determination of whether she violated the conditions of her probation by a preponderance of the evidence pursuant to I.C. 35-38-2-3(e) (2008), and if so, what is the appropriate sanction for such violation.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Holiday Hospitality Franchising, Inc. v. Amco Insurance Company
33S01-1206-CT-312
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Amco Insurance Co. on its motion for declaratory judgment to enforce its reading of the insurance contract with the hotel disclaiming coverage for, and its duty to defend against, a civil complaint brought by a motel guest molested by an off-duty motel employee. The facts of the case reflect precisely the sort of scenario contemplated by the parties to be excluded from coverage when they agreed to the insurance contract. Chief Justice Dickson concurs and Justice Rucker dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Alva Electric, Inc., Arc Construction Co., Inc., Danco Construction, Inc., Deig Brothers Lumber & Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp., and EVSC Foundation, Inc.
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/march/03061301jsk.pdf
82A01-1201-PL-2
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the school corporation and the foundation on the contractors’ suit for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, claiming the school corporation’s renovation of an administrative building should have been subject to the competitive bidding procedures required for a public work project under Indiana Code 36-1-12-4 and that the actions taken to accomplish the renovation constituted an antitrust violation under Indiana Code 24-1-2-3. The scheme used by the school corporation has not been authorized by the General Assembly and violates public bidding laws. Judge Friedlander dissents.

The First Baptist Church of Hammond v. Felipe Andrade, a minor, by his mother and custodial parent, Manuela Andrade (NFP)
45A05-1207-CT-354
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict in favor of Felipe Andrade on his lawsuit after he was injured at an activity hosted by the church, the finding he was 45 percent at fault for his injuries, and reduction of his recovery accordingly.

Damion Martin v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1206-CR-473
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of murder, one count of Class B felony aggravated battery, and three counts of Class C felony battery.

Brian Rinearson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

34A02-1209-CR-715
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license and sentence of 365 days incarceration, all suspended.

City of Muncie v. Stanley Benford (NFP)

18A02-1207-CR-549
Criminal. Affirms order setting aside an earlier order dismissing a forfeiture claim brought by the city against Stanley Benford.

Leonard Beaty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1107-CR-384
Criminal. Affirms three convictions of Class A felony child molesting.

In the Matter of: B.G., a Child in Need of Services; B.T. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1208-JC-642
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of B.G. as a child in need of services.

Calvin Horton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A05-1207-CR-371
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and order that Horton serve remainder of his sentence at the Department of Correction.

Christopher Groce and Tracey Groce v. American Family Insurance Company and Michael A. Meek (NFP)
48A02-1208-CT-703
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for American Family and Meek after the Groces filed a complaint for damages against them alleging negligence and breach of contract.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by 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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