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Opinions May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. John Doe
49S00-1201-CT-14
Civil tort. Reverses judgment declaring I.C. 34-51-3-4, -5, and -6 impermissibly inconsistent with Article 1, Section 20 and Article 3, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution. The cap and allocation scheme of punitive damages does not infringe upon the right to a jury trial, and the cap does not offend the separation of powers. Remands with instructions to grant Stewart’s motion to reduce the punitive damages to the statutory maximum and order that 75 percent of the award be deposited in the Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund.  

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois v. Vincennes Indiana Girls, Inc.
42S00-1210-PL-597
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment quieting title in Vincennes Indiana Girls Inc. Concludes that the Contracts Clause of the Indiana Constitution protects the enforceability of a 49-year land use limitation imposed by VIG despite a subsequently enacted statute, Indiana Code 32-17-10-2, that purports to limit reversionary clauses in land transactions to a maximum of 30 years. The dissolution of VIG did not terminate its existence or surrender its charter, and so its reversionary rights did not terminate by operation of the deed. Though the parties only intended the restriction to run for 49 years instead of indefinitely, their contract would nevertheless be substantially impaired if it were cut off after just 30 years by applying I.C. 32-17-10-2.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence T. Walker v. State of Indiana
45A04-1208-CR-441
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony child molesting involving fondling or touching. Fundamental error did not occur as a result of any inadmissible testimony by the victim’s father. The trial court did not err in failing to instruct the jury on Class D felony sexual battery because it is not an inherently or factually included offense of Class C felony child molesting as charged. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in replacing the only African-American juror.

David A. Warner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A05-1207-CR-386
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and Class B misdemeanor possession of a switchblade.

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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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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