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Opinions May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Mayor Gregory Ballard v. Maggie Lewis, John Barth, and Vernon Brown
49S00-1311-PL-716
Civil plenary. Reverses partial summary judgment to Maggie Lewis, holding Mayor Greg Ballard is entitled to summary judgment on redistricting ordinance issue. Justices exercise judicial restraint and leave redistricting in the hands of the two branches of local government responsible for the task. Also reverses any order requiring Ballard to pay part of the cost of a master brought in on the issue.

In the Matter of: Christopher E. Haigh 
98S00-0608-DI-317
Discipline. Haigh engaged in conduct in contempt of the Supreme Court by violating the suspension order. He is disbarred effective immediately and must pay $1,000. Any further contempt will likely result in imprisonment.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Shane Beal and The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company v. Edwin Blinn, Jr.
27A03-1306-PL-235
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Beal’s motion for summary judgment, which concluded that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Beal’s representation of Blinn Jr. in a federal criminal case constituted legal malpractice.

John Jacob Venters v. State of Indiana
79A02-1305-CR-481
Criminal. Reverses sentence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, as a Class D felony, enhanced by the habitual substance offender statute. Remands with instructions to order Venters’ enhanced sentence to run concurrently with his previously enhanced sentences. The trial court erred in ordering the sentence at issue to be served consecutively to his previously entered sentences.

Rahsaan A. Johnson v. State of Indiana
18A02-1304-CR-343
Criminal. Affirms conviction of 14 counts of possession of animals for fighting contests, all as Class D felonies. There is sufficient evidence to support the convictions and they do not violate the double jeopardy clause of the Indiana Constitution.

Johnathon R. Aslinger v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1303-CR-296
Criminal. Grants rehearing for the limited purpose of ordering a retrial on Aslinger’s conviction for possession of paraphernalia. Affirms original opinion in all respects.

Ricky Allen Cox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1308-CR-717
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony theft and remands for a determination of the credit time to which Cox is entitled.  

J&W Construction, Inc. v. Duffy Tool & Stamping, LTD, LLC, et al. (NFP)
18A02-1309-CT-809
Civil tort. Affirms orders dismissing J&W’s motion for proceeding supplement and its motion to correct error.

Robert F. Petty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
72A05-1305-CR-237
Criminal. Affirms convictions of voluntary manslaughter, Class D felony removal of body from scene and Class D felony obstruction of justice.

Claude F. Hudson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1305-CR-197
Criminal. Reverses denial of credit time and remands with instructions to award Hudson credit time from Oct. 15, 2012, to Dec. 27, 2012, when he was confined at a hospital.

Larry Fulbright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1309-CR-789
Criminal. Reverses denial of petition to file a belated notice of appeal.

Indiana Tax Court
MedCo Health Solutions, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1105-TA-35
Tax. Grants the department’s Trial Rule 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss. Medco is not entitled to relief on two claims: that the court should order the department to pay a refund and that advisory letters should be binding in this matter.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.

 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  2. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  3. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  4. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

  5. Put aside all the marijuana concerns, we are talking about food and fiber uses here. The federal impediments to hemp cultivation are totally ridiculous. Preposterous. Biggest hemp cultivators are China and Europe. We get most of ours from Canada. Hemp is as versatile as any crop ever including corn and soy. It's good the governor laid the way for this, regrettable the buffoons in DC stand in the way. A statutory relic of the failed "war on drugs"

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