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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies possession of a controlled substance and maintaining a common nuisance.

Lloyd Conn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

John Mocasque v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon.

Ronald Lee Phares v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

David Wayne Bray v. Linda Sue Oberholtzer (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for three counts of Class D felony theft.

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

Kristian D. Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of attempted arson.

Balboa Capital Corporation v. Brad Apple (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

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

Maria Cabrera v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Local ordinance violation. Affirms finding that Landau violated the animal control ordinance of the city of Indianapolis.

K.S. v. Review Board (NFP)
Civil. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Marlon D. McKnight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for relief from judgment.

Richard Keck v. Sate of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
Civil plenary. Dismisses Ziobron’s appeal of the denial of his motion for summary judgment.

Otha Hamilton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.