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Opinions Nov. 13, 2013

November 13, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday
.
Jamar Washington v. State of Indiana
49S02-1212-CR-669
Criminal. Affirms trial court jury instruction regarding defense of another as the correct statement of law, holding that Washington’s tendered instruction that the court declined to use was not required. Remands for correction of the sentencing abstract to reflect that Washington was convicted of resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor rather than as a Class D felony.  

Billy Russell v. State of Indiana
49S04-1311-CR-741
Criminal. Affirms convictions for murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds the trial court did not err in refusing to give Russell’s tendered jury instruction assessing his claim of self-defense. Concludes that partially bifurcating the trial did not prejudice Russell.

Today's opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Julie Kitchell v. Ted Franklin, as the Mayor of the City of Logansport, and the Common Council of the City of Logansport
09S00-1307-PL-476
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court dismissal of a suit challenging the city’s planned public-private partnership to convert a coal-fired power plant to generate electricity by burning refuse. Justices held that the Indiana Public-Private Agreements statute does not require a local legislative body to adopt an enabling statute before it may issue requests for proposals or begin contract negotiations.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Kuntz, Kunodu, Inc., and B-K Interests, LLC v. EVI, LLC
02A03-1301-PL-14
Civil plenary. Affirms order granting preliminary injunction based on trial court’s finding that Kuntz had violated the terms of his noncompete agreement. Reverses and remands the trial court extending the duration of the noncompete and awarding attorney fees to EVI. The COA points out a preliminary injunction is not a final judgment and is meant only to preserve the status quo as it existed prior to the dispute.

David Williams v. State of Indiana
67A01-1302-CR-87
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 99-year sentence for eight counts of Class A felony child molestation and once count of Class B felony incest. Finds Williams’ confession to police was voluntary and not coerced. Ruled the convictions for incest and child molesting do not constitute double jeopardy. Holds even though the trial court may have abused its discretion in considering Williams’ IRAS score as an aggravating factor, the 99-year sentence is not inappropriate.

Charles Cole v. State of Indiana
49A02-1308-CR-680
Criminal. Reverses an increase of bond from $2,500 surety to $10,000 surety on a Class D felony charge of possession of methamphetamine, holding that the increase was an abuse of discretion. No new evidence supported the increase that was twice as high as the maximum under local court rules, and the requirements for increasing bail under Ind. Code 35-33-8-5 were not satisfied.

State of Indiana v. Molly Gray
62A01-1303-CR-108
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court’s suppression of drug evidence collected after a drug-sniffing police dog indicated the presence of narcotics in a van pulled over in a traffic stop. The free-air sniff conducted by the canine was not incidental to the traffic stop and the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to justify increasing the duration of the stop.

Timothy W. Mackall, and Stephanie K. Mackall v. Cathedral Trustees, Inc., d/b/a Cathedral High School (NFP)
49A02-1304-CC-290
Civil collections. Affirms trial court award of $47,510 in attorney fees in favor of Cathedral.

In the Matter of E.B. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services and R.K. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
84A01-1303-JC-95
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of E.B. as a child in need of services.

Billy Bulu Gercilus v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1303-CR-246
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury and one count of Class A misdemeanor interfering with the reporting of a crime.

Tammy Price v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and WC Fern Exposition Services(NFP)
93A02-1304-EX-369
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.
 
Zigfried Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1303-CR-124
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine.

Shaun A. Fry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
50A03-1305-CR-170
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part convictions after a bench trial of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle without receiving a license. Vacates the felony conviction and remands for new trial because there is no evidence in the record that Fry knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to a jury trial.  
 
Brenda Painter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1304-CR-346
Criminal. Affirms 22-year aggregate sentence for conviction of two counts of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.


Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline .
 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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