Opinions Nov. 10, 2010

November 10, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott D. Wells v. Herman Bud Bernitt, et al.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the Bernitts on Wells’ claim against them for defamation because there was no admissible evidence before the court to establish actual malice, an element of defamation. Affirms summary judgment in favor of J.D. Maxwell and Travis Coryea as to Wells’ claim for negligent and intentional torts finding the evidence establishes the officers didn’t use excessive force. Affirms summary judgment for Wells on the Bernitts’ cross appeal alleging abuse of process.

Robert J. Blanford v. Judy D. Blanford
Domestic relation. The trial court erred in calculating Robert’s child support obligations on two worksheets and treating each son as an only child without an explanation of its reasons. Affirms determination and allocation of extraordinary educational expenses as part of Robert’s support obligations related to college education. Reverses assigning funds in his 401(k) to his children rather than Robert and Judy upon S.B.’s completion of a bachelor’s degree because this assignment was a post-dissolution modification of the division of marital assets. Remands with instructions.

Kevin Barton v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Class C felony conviction of failure to return to the scene of an accident resulting in death. The trial court didn’t err when it denied Barton’s motion to dismiss, which asserted that the state was barred under collateral estoppel principles from prosecuting him, because he failed to comply with Indiana Code Section 9-26-1-1. He waived his claim of Doyle violations by the prosecutor during closing statements and the trial court properly determined the substance of Barton’s proposed instruction was adequately covered by other jury instructions.

C & R Realty, LLC v. Jerry Tooley (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of C&R Realty’s motion to set aside a default judgment under Trial Rule 60(B).

Quentin L. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty pleas to three counts of Class B felony robbery, one count of Class B felony criminal confinement, and two counts of Class C felony battery.

Mamadou Sow v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor conviction of resisting law enforcement.
Damon A. Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Kenneth J. DeBord v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Remands for further proceedings.
Paul Catterall v. James Donbrock d/b/a Donbrock Enterprises (NFP)
Small claims. Affirms conclusion Donbrock could collect maintenance fees from Catterall from Jan. 5, 2002, to July 12, 2002. The court erred by ordering Donbrock to pay fees for months prior to Jan. 5 and prejudgment interest. Reverses ruling regarding fees prior to Jan. 5 and remands for an order consistent with the opinion.

Jean D. Schoknecht v. Susan E. Dunlap (NFP)
Civil. Reverses Schoknecht’s claims as a landlord against tenant Dunlap.
R.B. v. Review Board (NFP)
Civil. Reverses denial of claim for unemployment benefits.
Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.