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
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)
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)
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)
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)
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of employment benefits.

Nationwide Ins. Co., and Edward and Anne Mickel v. Paul Parmer, II, Rick Ramsey and Heather Sida
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)
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.
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
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)
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
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)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

In Re: The Marriage of Steve Metzger and Peggy Metzger (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Martize Sevion v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Joseph Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

K.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of father’s petition to remove restrictions on parenting time.

Kevin Scaife v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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
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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues