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Opinions Nov. 15, 2010

November 15, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lorenzo Tavarez
09-3879
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of distributing 50 grams or more methamphetamine. Tavarez failed to show that the confidential informant was available only to the government. The District Court therefore did not err by refusing the missing witness instruction. Concludes that the jury could reasonably reach its guilty verdict on the circumstantial evidence presented here.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Paternity of C.H.; K.L. v. M.H.
41A01-1003-JP-145
Juvenile. Affirms parenting time schedule regarding father M.H.’s time and the appointment of a parenting coordinator. The evidence showed that C.H. had bonded well with both parents and needs time with both of them, and the trial court’s assessment of M.H.’s time is not an error. The trial court didn’t error in appointing the parent coordinator given the ongoing communication difficulties the parents have had regarding the parenting time schedule.

Mary Booher, et al. v. Sheeram, LLC

20A03-1005-CT-338
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Sheeram LLC on the Boohers’ negligence complaint. Having failed to file a formal request with the trial court for an extension of time, the trial court was without discretion to accept the technically late-filed documents.

Tony A. Holmes v. Celadon Trucking of Indiana, et al.
49A02-1007-PL-714
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of Celadon Trucking’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Holmes began the instant suit against Celadon within the statutorily allotted time. Remands for further proceedings.

City of Jeffersonville v. Hallmark at Jeffersonville

10A01-1001-PL-22
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Hallmark of Jeffersonville on its complaint for refund of sewer tap fees. Affirms the court’s findings and conclusion as to the proper total amount of $15,000 that Hallmark should have been assessed as a sewer tap or connection fee for the three buildings. Concludes the voluntary payment doctrine is inapplicable in this case.

In the Matter of the Unsupervised Estate of Dwight M. Wilson v. Phyllis Steward
70A01-1003-EU-104
Estate unsupervised. Affirms Steward’s claim against the estate for unpaid child support is not barred by Indiana Code Section 34-11-2-12. The evidence was sufficient to overcome the presumption of satisfaction of the judgment.

Robert L. Comer v. State of Indiana
46A05-0912-CR-718
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Comer serve the balance of his sentences. The appellate court doesn’t have jurisdiction to entertain Comer’s challenge, if any, to the sentence originally imposed.

Donald G. Kistler v. State of Indiana

35A04-1004-PC-245
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Kistler did not demonstrate that he wouldn’t have pled guilty even if properly advised and his claim of ineffective assistance fails.

Wayne & Susan Vanderwier v. Joshua & Stephannie Baker

45A03-1003-CC-129
Civil collection. Affirms judgment in favor of the Bakers on their claims for fraud arising from their purchase of the Vanderwiers’ home. This evidence supports the trial court’s judgment that the Bakers established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the Vanderwiers made fraudulent misrepresentations on the Sales Disclosure Form and that the Bakers justifiably relied on the Vanderwiers’ fraudulent disclosure of only “minor garage seepage.”

Robert Guy v. Commissioner, Indiana BMV
30A01-1001-PL-186
Civil plenary. Vacates trial court’s denial of Guy’s verified petition for order to renew his Indiana operator’s license. Because Guy only served the commissioner of the BMV and not the attorney general, as required by both the Indiana Administrative Orders and Procedures Act and Indiana Trial Rule 4.6(A)(3), the trial court did not have personal jurisdiction.

Charlotte Manns v. Amos J. Richie, et al.

37A03-1006-CT-294
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Richie on Manns’ complaint for unjust enrichment. As a matter of law, Manns did not confer any benefit upon Richie.

Clarence Seeley, Jr. v. State of Indiana
21A05-1003-CR-167
Criminal. Affirms refusal to tender Seeley’s jury instruction. The evidence unequivocally demonstrated that Seeley was not “briefly” within 1,000 feet of school property when he illegally sold a controlled substance from his residence. As such, there was no evidence in the record to support the giving of the proffered jury instruction on the statutory defense. The state presented sufficient evidence that St. Gabriel’s School was “school property” for purposes of the statutory enhancement. Reverses habitual offender finding and remands for re-sentencing.

Dewayne E. Rhye v. State of Indiana (NFP)

82A05-1004-CR-215
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony conspiracy to commit theft, Class D felony criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury, and Class B misdemeanor criminal recklessness.

Raymond Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A04-1001-CR-47
Criminal. Affirms habitual offender adjudication and sentence for Class C felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Stephen Quick, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
23A05-1005-CR-292
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for change of judge and 125-year sentence for three counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Jose L. Macias v. State of Indiana (NFP)

20A03-1004-CR-237
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.A.; S.J.M. and J.A. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)

20A03-1004-JT-228
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

In Re: The Guardianship of Patrick Hill; Kristin S. Hill v. Michael W. Hill (NFP)
49A04-0906-CV-339
Civil. Affirms probate court’s order appointing Michael Hill as guardian over son Patrick.

In the Matter of I.D.; T.D. v. IDCS (NFP)

49A05-1003-JC-198
Juvenile. Affirms finding that I.D. is a child in need of services.

Sharla Hackney and Raymond Hackney, Sr. v. Stacy G. Toole (NFP)

41A01-1003-CC-121
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment for Toole in Sharla Hackney’s suit for negligence.

Ronald Fisher v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-CR-411
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Gerardo Delao v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1004-CR-228
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following admission to violating probation.

James R. Stephens v. Brenda K. Stephens (NFP)

33A05-1006-DR-434
Domestic relation. Dismisses James Stephens’ appeal of the order regarding his child support arrearage because his appeal is untimely.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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