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Opinions Nov. 20, 2013

November 20, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Clifford and Judith Ann Garrett v. Paul and Linda Spear
23A01-1303-PL-96
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for the Spears on their claims of title by acquiescence and adverse possession and denial of summary judgment for the Garrets. The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment based upon the doctrine of title by acquiescence.

Tony Sluder v. State of Indiana
03A01-1305-CR-208
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. The evidence was insufficient to establish that Sluder intended to use the syringe to introduce a controlled substance into his body.

Thomas Haggerty and Cathy Haggerty v. Anonymous Party 1, Anonymous Party 2, and Anonymous Party 3
53A01-1210-CT-472
Civil tort. Affirms in part and reverses in part. The trial court had jurisdiction to rule on the issue of immunity because it is an affirmative defense. Concludes that the Haggertys’ suit against the anonymous parties is barred by statutory immunity. Affirms the trial court’s grant of summary judgment, on immunity grounds, to AP1. Concludes that there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether immunity also applies to AP2 and AP3; thus, reverses the trial court’s denial of their motion for summary judgment. Judge Baker dissents in part.

The City of Fort Wayne v. Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. d/b/a All-Phase Electric Supply Co.
02A04-1306-CC-283
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment for All-Phase on its unpaid subcontractor’s claim served on the mayor of Fort Wayne and against the city. When read in conjunction with relevant statutory provisions, I.C. 36-1-12-12 allowed All-Phase to serve notice of its unpaid subcontractor’s claim on the mayor of Fort Wayne. Also finds that All-Phase provided timely notice of its claim.

In Re The Paternity of B.B., R.B. v. T.J.
34A02-1303-JP-243
Juvenile. Affirms order modifying custody, visitation and support of B.B. to mother T.J. The court ruled that the mother was in the best position to act as B.B.’s primary caretaker and awarded her physical custody. After review, COA cannot say that the court’s findings or conclusions were clearly erroneous and concludes that the court did not abuse its discretion in granting her petition to modify custody.

John S. Paniaguas, Kathy R. Paniaguas, Woodrow Cornett, III, and Kristine E. Cornett v. Endor, Inc. et al (NFP)
45A03-1205-PL-244
Civil plenary. Affirms order that determined that the appellee homeowners’ homes were in compliance with the restrictive covenants of the subdivision.

In The Matter of The Estate of Charles W. Merlau, Deceased, Patricia Trout v. C. Thomas Cone, et al (NFP)
30A01-1304-EU-166
Estate, unsupervised. Affirms in part and reverses in part, and remands with instructions to conduct further proceedings. The successor representative improperly valued the stock, in that it should have been valued as of the date of distribution rather than on the date of the decedent’s death. All of the heirs should share equally in the payment of the taxes and the loss that was incurred on the stock. A subsequent hearing needs to be conducted that also addresses the issue of an administrative claim that the business lodged against the estate.

Dino D. Hickmon, Sr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1305-CR-167
Criminal. Affirms 22-year sentence for two convictions of Class B felony incest.

Howard Moffitt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1304-CR-186
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary, Class D felony theft and Class C misdemeanor operating never having received a license.

Carlowe Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1304-CR-440
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony nonsupport of a dependent child.

Tawon L. Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1304-CR-368
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony possession of cocaine.

George Cunitz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1305-CR-405
Criminal. Affirms 40-year sentence following convictions for two counts of Class B felony burglary.

Eric Rasnick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
39A01-1211-CR-526
Criminal. Affirms convictions and 36-year sentence for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by 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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