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Opinions Oct. 10, 2013

October 10, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of E.T., D.T., L.T., and Y.T., Minor Children: M.T., v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services and Lake County Court Appointed Special Advocate
45A03-1302-JT-49
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. The mother has not demonstrated that the trial court clearly erred when it determined that continuation of the parent-child relationship with the children poses a threat to their well-being. Nor has she shown that termination is not in the best interest of the children or that the court erred when it determined that adoption is a satisfactory plan following the terminations.

Kevin C. Stone v. Jennifer M. Stone
49A02-1210-DR-820
Domestic relation. Grants rehearing to acknowledge that father did file a reply brief in the case, but affirms original opinion in all respects, including that his supervised visitation argument is moot.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.W. (Minor Child), and J.W. (Mother), v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
26A01-1303-JT-113
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. The mother has not shown that she was denied due process in the CHINS proceedings or termination proceedings. The DCS established by clear and convincing evidence the requisite elements to support the termination of parental rights.

Nathan and Deanna Ferguson v. Shiel Sexton Company, Inc., WR Dunkin & Son, Inc., Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve, Inc., et al.
29A05-1301-CT-8
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Poynter Sheet Metal Inc. on the issue of duty in the Fergusons’ negligence action. They sought damages for injuries Nathan Ferguson sustained in a construction accident. The Fergusons failed to establish the trial court erred in granting summary judgment.

Dustin Jack Gifford v. State of Indiana
40A05-1304-CR-197
Criminal. Reverses Class D felony conviction of possession of chemical reagents or precursors with intent to manufacture a controlled substance. The state presented insufficient evidence to support the conviction.

John Einhorn and Roxanne Einhorn v. Scott Johnson, Gretchen Johnson, Purdue University Board of Trustees, et al.
50A03-1303-CT-93
Civil tort. Affirms in part and reverses in part summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the Einhorns’ complaint for damages alleging negligence. Because John Einhorn was not Purdue’s employee at the time of the accident, his negligence claim against Purdue is not barred by the exclusivity provision of the Worker’s Compensation Act. Purdue and 4-H Fair Association are entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law under the Equine Activity Statute. The Johnsons are entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law because they did not know or have reason to know that the horse Clu had any dangerous propensities prior to the accident.

Coady Coyote Craddick v. Indiana Department of Correction (NFP)

52A02-1211-MI-942
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of complaint against the DOC alleging it violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Indiana Constitution by classifying Craddick as a sex offender.

Fredrick D. McClure v. State of Indiana (NFP)

18A02-1302-CR-196
Criminal. Affirms trial court determination that McClure’s previously stayed sentence was eight years rather than four years.

Jason Hays v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A04-1303-CR-109
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in blood causing death.

Joseph A. Kast v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1301-CR-35
Criminal. Affirms 65-year sentence for murder conviction.

Tabatha Murphy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
30A04-1302-CR-82
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon, Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Ryan Thomas Johnston v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1212-CR-1014
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

David Roy Winters v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1302-CR-41
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class A misdemeanor conversion.

In Re The Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of R.C. and M.C.: Ro.C. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1303-JT-194
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

The Indiana Supreme Court and 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. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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