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Opinions May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Paternity of V.A., (Minor Child), R.A. v. B.Y.
39A04-1310-JP-512
Juvenile. Affirms a special judge’s ruling that the judge who heard evidence remanded to the trial court from an earlier appeal should rule on the remanded issues, as required by Trial Rule 63(A). The panel rejected father R.A.’s objection claiming that his change-of-judge request trumps that rule, finding that the change-of-judge rule only applies prospectively, while Rule 63(A) operates retroactively to ensure that the remanded issues are considered by the judge who heard the evidence.

In Re: The Paternity of V.A., a Minor Child, R.A. Father v. B.Y., Mother
39A01-1307-JP-304
Juvenile. Affirms denial of a petition to modify custody and support, and a motion to correct error. A special judge appointed to hear the case ruled that he lacked jurisdiction, and the panel found that ruling was not an abuse of discretion.

Jose M. Santana v. State of Indiana
20A04-1302-CR-54
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life. Rules although the police officer began following the vehicle because he erroneously ran the wrong license plate number, he did not initiate the stop until he observed Santana fail to signal a turn at least 200 feet before turning.
 
Depuy Orthopaedics Inc. and, Johnson & Johnson v. Travis Brown, et al.
49A02-1304-CT-332
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Depuy’s and Johnson & Johnson’s motion to dismiss and remands to the trial court for dismissal on the grounds of forum non conveniens governed by Indiana Trial Rule 4.4(C). The litigation over defective hip replacement devices may be re-filed in Virginia or Mississippi, where plaintiffs underwent surgical implantation of the devices.

Joseph Fuentes v. State of Indiana
71A04-1310-CR-522
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder, Class C felony possession of a handgun by a felon, Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class D felony resisting law enforcement. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence that Fuentes had an assault rifle in his car when he fled police nor did the lower court commit fundamental error by encouraging the jury to continue deliberating after the jurors asked what they should do since they were split on one of the counts. Finally concludes the evidence was sufficient to establish Fuentes intended to kill a police officer.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: O.V., Minor Child, J.V., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
71A03-1312-JT-499
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of mother J.V.’s parental rights.

Brooke Tubbs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1309-CR-771
Criminal. Affirms 18-month executed sentence and convictions of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended.

Charlie S. Hines III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A05-1307-CR-362
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony dealing cocaine.

Thomas H. Kramer, Member and Manager of Domus Property Investments, LLC v. Mark Kramer, and Domus Property Investments, LLC (NFP)
71A04-1305-PL-261
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling that Mark Kramer violated a non-compete clause with regard to one rental property and finds that he violated those terms with regard to three properties. Remands for total judgment of $333,156 in Thomas Kramer’s favor. Affirms denial of legal fees and prejudgment interest for Thomas Kramer.
 
In Re the Marriage of: Michelle Schlotterback and Terry Schlotterback, Terry Schlotterback v. Michelle Schlotterback (NFP)
57A05-1306-DR-321
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Terry Schlotterback’s motion to correct error relating to the division of the estate amassed during marriage and his motion to correct error with regard to the uninsured medical expenses of the parties’ children.
 
Dietrich D. Smith, Jr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1401-CR-31
Criminal. Dismisses appeal over whether Smith’s pretrial and earned credit time was properly awarded by the Department of Correction because the record is inadequate to make a determination.

Ronald Buttermore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1309-CR-472
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Raven McGinty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A05-1310- CR-500
Criminal. Affirms 45-year sentence for multiple felony convictions of child molestation and other sex crimes.
 
Alma Stanbary v. Madison-Jefferson County Library (NFP)
39A01-1312-CT-537
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the library.

Jeremiah Workman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1312-CR-1020
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline Friday.7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline Friday.
 

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  1. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  2. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  3. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  4. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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