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Opinions May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011
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The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Indiana Tax Court
Rent-A-Center East, Inc. v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue
49T10-0612-TA-106
Tax. Denies the Department of State Revenue’s motion for summary judgment and grants it in favor of RAC East. The department has failed to designate any facts to show it complied with Indiana Code 6-3-2-2(p), so it hasn’t made a prima facie case that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law regarding whether the department consider alternatives to assessing tax based on a combined return. Remands to the Department of State Revenue for actions consistent with the opinion.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Dennis Block v. Mark Magura
64A05-1012-PL-752
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Magura on Block’s lawsuit filed after Magura didn’t complete the purchase of Block’s interest in a partnership. The letter of intent is an enforceable contract because it contains the essential terms of the parties’ agreement and expresses their intent to be bound. Remands for summary judgment in favor of Block as to Magura’s liability for breach of contract and to conduct further proceedings with respect to damages.

Jeffrey L. Hunter v. State of Indiana
49A02-1011-CR-1224
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery. The force employed by Hunter on his daughter was unreasonable in punishing her, and the evidence presented by the state was sufficient to rebut the alleged parental discipline privilege.

Abram Coleman, Rhonda Coleman, and Jerry Wayne Coleman v. Cynthia Ann Coleman
63A01-1009-PL-500
Civil plenary. Reverses judgment in favor of Cynthia Coleman awarding her $20,000 in damages and $11,097 in attorney fees on her unjust enrichment claim. There is insufficient evidence to support a judgment against the Colemans as such a claim requires a plaintiff to prove not only the provision of a measurable benefit to a defendant, but also that the defendant impliedly or expressly requested that benefit. The jury erred in awarding Cynthia attorney fees. Remands for further proceedings.

Mark A. Kolish v. State of Indiana
66A03-1009-CR-493
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of at least 0.15 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of his blood as a Class A misdemeanor. The arresting officer adequately informed the magistrate that at the time he submitted the probable cause affidavit, there was a fair probability that Kolish’s blood contained evidence of a crime. The evidence supports a determination that the person who drew Kolish’s blood followed the hospital’s protocol in prepping his arm for the blood draw and that person was authorized to perform the blood draw.

Edward Godby v. State of Indiana
69A01-1009-CR-504
Criminal. Reverses convictions of methamphetamine-related offenses. Godby’s wife did not have authority, actual or apparent, to consent to a search of Godby’s locked box, and the warrantless search of it was impermissible under the Indiana and United States constitutions. Remands for a new trial.

Trinda Barocas v. State of Indiana
49A02-1007-CR-732
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery. The state didn’t prove the force Barocas used on a student was unreasonable or that Barocas was unreasonable to believe a physical prompt was necessary to control the student’s behavior of sticking out her tongue.

Lawrence Archuleta v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A03-1008-CR-430
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to four counts of Class C felony child molesting and one count of Class B felony child molesting.

Keenan A. Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1011-CR-740
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies possession of a controlled substance and maintaining a common nuisance.

Lloyd Conn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
24A05-1009-CR-608
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and Class D felony dumping controlled substance waste.

Scott Groce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1010-CR-637
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

John Mocasque v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A05-1005-CR-303
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon.

Ronald Lee Phares v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A04-1008-CR-523
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, but reverses conviction of Class C felony corrupt business influence. Remands for further proceedings.

Kyle Brinkley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1010-CR-664
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

David Wayne Bray v. Linda Sue Oberholtzer (NFP)
39A01-1010-DR-528
Domestic relation. Reverses order finding Bray in contempt of court for refusing to make child support payments to Oberholtzer. Remands with instructions and to hold a hearing as to whether Bray is entitled to an award of attorney fees.

Rossando L. McLellan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1008-CR-416
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for three counts of Class D felony theft.

James L. Teague, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1009-CR-1113
Criminal. Affirms conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Kristian D. Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1009-CR-1155
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

Joan Mazurkiewicz, et al. v. George Hodakowski, M.D., et al. (NFP)
45A03-1008-CT-408
Civil tort. In a medical malpractice action, affirms judgment in favor of Dr. Hodakowski, reverses the grant of Dr. Perelman’s motion for judgment on the evidence, and remands for further proceedings.

Gary E. Masak v. Sherry E. Masak (NFP)
64A03-1011-DR-559
Domestic relation. Affirms equal division of the monies received by Gary as part of the Ford buyout and the equal divisions of other marital assets. Remands to the trial court to correct the errors identified in the opinion, recalculate the marital estate, and divide the property in accordance with its conclusion that an equal division of the martial estate was just and reasonable.

Daniel R. Wallace v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1009-CR-465
Criminal. Affirms conviction of attempted arson.

Balboa Capital Corporation v. Brad Apple (NFP)
49A02-1101-CC-15
Civil collections. Reverses judgment for Apple on Balboa Capital Corp.’s complaint to domesticate a foreign judgment. Remands for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.P.; A.P. & T.P. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
40A05-1008-JT-723
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Carlos L. Cordova v. State of Indiana (NFP)
17A05-1011-CR-688
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Maria Cabrera v. State of Indiana (NFP)
09A02-1010-CR-1084
Criminal. Affirms Cabrera’s conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. Reverses sentence and remands for the issuance of an order reflecting the revised sentence of 20 years with 10 years suspended to probation.

State of Indiana v. Aaron R. Limburg (NFP)
24A01-1009-CR-454
Criminal. Reverses grant of Limburg’s motion to suppress evidence obtained as the result of a warrantless search of his vehicle.

David Landau v. City of Indianapolis (NFP)
49A02-1011-OV-1249
Local ordinance violation. Affirms finding that Landau violated the animal control ordinance of the city of Indianapolis.

K.S. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1011-EX-1349
Civil. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Marlon D. McKnight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1005-CR-357
Criminal. Affirms felony convictions of dealing in cocaine, two as Class A felonies and one as a Class B felony.

Kevin Curry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1008-CR-454
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony corrupt business influence, 15 counts of Class C felony forgery, and being a habitual offender. Remands for clarification of sentence.

Floyd E. Marsh v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1006-CR-412
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for relief from judgment.

Richard Keck v. Sate of Indiana (NFP)
36A01-1008-CR-469
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

M.T., et al.: Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; T.J. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
49A02-1009-JC-1137
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of children as children in need of services and dispositional order requiring father to complete services due to that adjudication.

Joe Spiker Excavating Inc. v. Monica M. Rahill and Jo A. Morton (NFP)
67A05-1012-MF-751
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms holding that Joe Spiker Excavating was bound by the $2,500 price an employee quoted after the company sued a homeowner to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien after the homeowner only paid $2,750 of a $4,019 bill for work performed.

Eugene C. Ziobron v. Streetlinks National Appraisal Services (NFP)
29A05-1007-PL-449
Civil plenary. Dismisses Ziobron’s appeal of the denial of his motion for summary judgment.

Otha Hamilton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1009-CR-1021
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for class A felony child molesting by deviate sexual conduct.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court granted one transfer and denied 21 cases for the week ending May 27.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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