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Opinions Nov. 29, 2011

November 29, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
David Hopper v. State of Indiana
13S01-1007-PC-399
Post conviction. Grants rehearing to address the role and necessity of advising someone of the risks of dealing with prosecutors without a lawyer. The post-conviction court was right that Hopper’s waiver of counsel was voluntary and intelligent. Finds Hopper’s contention that advisement language should be mandatory in all stages of all cases with all defendants is misplaced. Justice Rucker dissents with separate opinion, in which Justice Sullivan concurs.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin Woodhouse v. State of Indiana (NFP)
12A02-1012-CR-1322
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine, Class D felony possession of a chemical reagent or precursor with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and four counts of Class C misdemeanor purchasing more than three grams of a precursor. Remands to clarify its earlier order to properly indicate the merger of counts I and II.

McCoy Tile v. Meyer Glass & Mirror, and Robert Fryer (NFP)
46A03-1102-SC-102
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Fryer with respect to his claim that McCoy Tile improperly installed tile in Fryer’s shower.

Rodney Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1103-PC-97
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Matthew Totten v. Review Board of the Indiana Workforce Development and Great Lakes Granite (NFP)
93A02-1102-EX-209
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of employment benefits.

Nationwide Ins. Co., and Edward and Anne Mickel v. Paul Parmer, II, Rick Ramsey and Heather Sida
41A01-1008-CT-377
Civil tort. Affirms orders granting Parmer’s and Sida’s motions for leave to amend their affirmative defenses and the order denying the Mickels’ and Nationwide Insurance Co.’s motion to reconsider. The Mickels and Nationwide did not timely request certification of the Jan. 4 order and therefore waived their claims regarding the order on appeal. Sida properly objected to the trial court’s dismissal and preserved her right to add nonparty defendants.

Max Riley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1105-CR-233
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony attempted theft.

Natalie A. Miller, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Alexis J. Ritch, Daniel J. Ritch, et al. v. L. Barrett Bernard, M.D., the Bethany Circle of King's Daughters Hospital & Health, et al.
39A05-1009-PL-546
Civil plenary. Reverses in part summary judgment for defendants Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals and CVS Pharmacy. The trial court erred in excluding the testimony of Dr. Loeb; defendants were entitled to the statutory rebuttable presumption of no defect in the manufacture of Promethazine Syrup Plain, but whether the plaintiffs have rebutted this presumption remains a question of fact; and whether MGP’s production and CVS’s distribution of PSP caused Alexis Ritch’s death is also a question of fact. Concludes that the trial court did not err in denying the defendants’ motion to exclude other expert testimonies in favor of the plaintiffs. Affirms in part the allowance of the opinions of doctors Kenneth Kulig and George Nichols. Remands for further proceedings.

Darnell Daniels v. State of Indiana
20A03-1104-CR-165
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony robbery and Class C felony intimidation. The state only needed to present evidence from which the jury could infer that the victim was in fact put in fear. It’s not necessary for the victim to testify that he or she was actually put in fear. The variance in the charging information and the proof at trial is not fatal and there was sufficient evidence that Daniels “used” the gun while intimidating his victim.

Jose Rodriguez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1006-CR-410
Criminal. Grants rehearing for the limited purpose of clarifying that the failure to instruct issue is waived. Affirms original opinion in all respects.

State of Indiana v. Jaime Bonilla
49A02-1102-PC-144
Post conviction. Reverses grant of petition for post-conviction relief. Bonilla did not allege special circumstances or objective facts demonstrating his decision to plead guilty was driven by his counsel’s erroneous advice.

Steve Barnett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A01-1008-CR-397
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

In Re: The Marriage of Steve Metzger and Peggy Metzger (NFP)
43A03-1101-DR-18
Domestic relation. Affirms order that father pay child support and a portion of expenses incurred for the post-secondary education of two of his children.

Sean Holtsclaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1103-CR-118
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Martize Sevion v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A05-1102-CR-125
Criminal. Affirms denial of Sevion’s motion to correct erroneous sentence. Dismisses Sevion’s claims with respect to the merits of his conviction due to his untimely appeal.

Erica Ball v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1103-CR-132
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Joseph Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
40A01-1104-PC-186
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

K.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1105-JV-252
Juvenile. Affirms disposition order following adjudication as a delinquent for committing what would be theft if committed by an adult.

John V. Loudermilk, Continental American Ins. Co., Geneva P. Loudermilk, et al. v. Jet Credit Union n/k/a Credit Union 1 (NFP)
49A02-1006-PL-665
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Jet Credit regarding co-defendants’ counterclaim for common law conversion.

A.W.S. v. C.S.-R. (NFP)
29A04-1102-DR-142
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of father’s petition to remove restrictions on parenting time.

Kevin Scaife v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1102-CR-172
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

D.L., b/n/f G.L. v. Pioneer School Corporation, Pioneer Board of School Trustees and Larry John
09A02-1103-MI-271
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of D.L.’s request to overturn his expulsion from Pioneer High School. The trial court’s decision was not contrary to law.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer to one case for the week ending Nov. 23.
 

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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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