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Opinions Oct. 19, 2011

October 19, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Alan Massey v. State of Indiana
49A05-1012-PC-808
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Even though the jury was improperly instructed regarding the elements of voluntary manslaughter, Massey wasn’t entitled to the voluntary manslaughter instruction because his girlfriend’s words ending their relationship do not constitute sufficient provocation to induce sudden heat. He also failed to carry his burden to show that the sentencing issue was significant.

Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., P.C., Merrillville Center for Advanced Surgery, LLC and Nose and Sinus Center, LLC v. William Boyer
45A03-1011-CT-598
Civil tort. Affirms award of $300,000 in damages to William Boyer following his complaint for medical malpractice. The trial court properly denied the Weinberger entities’ motion for change of judge; did not abuse its discretion when it failed to strike jurors for cause; the testimony on Weinberger’s breach of his standard of care, the result of Boyer’s EKG, and evidence of Weinberger’s flight and absence from the country were properly admitted; and the jury award was not excessive. Affirms in all other respects.

Carolyn S. Baird v. State of Indiana
82A01-1106-CR-185
Criminal. Affirms convictions of infractions for operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility, failure to register and failure to have the proper license for operating a motorcycle. The evidence was sufficient to support these convictions. Reverses her conviction of Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended with a prior conviction because there was insufficient evidence. Remands with instructions to enter a conviction of the lesser included offense of driving while suspended, a Class A infraction.

Barker Industrial Park, Inc., Clara Barker and Charles E. Barker v. Ken Cut Lawn Service, Inc. (NFP)
49A05-1104-PL-201
Civil plenary. Reverses attorney fee award to the Bakers and remands for recalculation. Also on remand, the trial court should explain its prejudgment interest calculation and correct its total judgment calculation.

Marquinn McGruder v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1102-CR-29
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanors carrying a handgun without a license and possession of marijuana.

Zachary Thomas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1009-CR-1143
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony residential entry.

Remy Inc. v. Ice Miller LLP and Kathy S. Kiefer (NFP)
49A02-1012-CT-1419
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Ice Miller and Kiefer on Remy’s legal malpractice claim.

Jeffrey J. Whitmer v. Nancy J. Whitmer (NFP)
85A02-1103-DR-283
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part the order that set aside substantial sums to Nancy following the sale of property at auction for expenses she claimed to have incurred, as most of the expenses she requested were either untimely raised or were an improper attempt to relitigate the equal property distribution. Remands with instructions.

Danny L. Slaven v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1101-PC-116
Post conviction. Affirms in part and reverses in part the denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Remands for resentencing.

Darren B. Stone v. State of Indiana (NFP)
51A01-1103-PC-154
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

K.B.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1104-JV-251
Juvenile. Affirms order placing K.B.S. at a private residential facility after the juvenile court found she committed what would be Class A misdemeanor criminal conversion if committed by an adult.

Christopher Davies v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A05-1103-CR-136
Criminal. Affirms order Davies serve the 18-month balance of his suspended sentence following a probation violation.

Kevin Legg v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1102-CR-76
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony rape, Class B felony criminal deviate conduct and Class D felony criminal confinement.

James Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1103-PC-152
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Sergio Esqueda v. Alfredo and Maria Ponce (NFP)
93A02-1105-EX-476
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of application for adjustment of claim.

Valentin Jaramillo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A03-1103-PC-125
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Rumero Ziebell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1012-PC-694
Post conviction. Affirms in part and reverses in part the denial of Ziebell’s petition for post-conviction relief. Remands for the post-conviction court to order the habitual offender enhancement in the murder case to be served concurrent with the habitual offender enhancement in the drug case.

Ayron Saylors v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A05-1102-PC-99
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at 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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