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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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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