Opinions Oct. 27, 2010

October 27, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
James L. Parkey v. Jason E. Sample
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge William C. Lee
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of Indiana State Trooper Jason Sample’s motion for summary judgment, which found James Parkey, who sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, had not brought forth any evidence to demonstrate a lack of probable cause. Parkey claimed Sample had violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment by searching his home and seizing his property without probable cause. Suspecting Parkey had a marijuana grow operation, Sample did two trash pulls near Parkey’s residence where Sample found marijuana cigarettes and stems from marijuana plants, evidence he presented to a Lake County Superior magistrate, who issued a search warrant for Parkey’s home.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Maurice Porter v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms one conviction of nonsupport of a dependent child as a Class C felony, and reduced the second conviction of nonsupport of a dependent child to a Class D felony for which the sentence shall be a term of 1.5 years, to be served consecutive to the sentence for the Class C felony. Remands with instructions to enter judgment of conviction and a sentencing order in conformance with this opinion.

Kent Hizer and Elizabeth Hizer v. James Holt and Rebecca Holt
Civil. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Holts on the Hizers’ claims for fraud and breach of contract arising from the Hizers’ purchase of the Holts’ home. Concludes that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the Holts made fraudulent misrepresentations on the Sales Disclosure Form required by statute.

LaPorte Community School Corporation v. Maria Rosales
Civil. Concludes trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting deposition testimony from an expert regarding school safety and school emergency plans. Also finds the trial court properly denied the school’s motion for judgment on the evidence as to negligence and properly granted Rosales’s motion for judgment on the evidence as to contributory negligence. However, also concludes the jury was not properly instructed regarding negligence, and the erroneous instruction was a reversible error, and therefore the Court of Appeals remands.

Joel Moses v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Douglas L. Blair v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for operating a vehicle after lifetime suspension and speeding.

Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of D.M.B.; R.M.W. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of R.M.W.’s parental rights to her son, D.B.

Floyd E. Whitlock v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Finding Whitlock’s motion is not ripe for adjudication because he is still serving his sentence, affirms trial court’s order that Whitlock may have to register for the Indiana Sex Offender Registry as a condition of parole.

James J. Pierce, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Ronald Trent v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and 35-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, a Class A felony, following a guilty plea.

David M. Holmquist v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms bench judgment for speeding, a Class C infraction.

Angel Rivera v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute.

Gene Payton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life, a Class C felony.

Kwiatkowski Land Management LLC v. Torrenga Engineering Inc., et al. (NFP)
Civil. Concludes trial court erred in granting partial summary judgment in favor of Torrenga Engineering and in granting judgment on the pleadings in favor of third-party plaintiffs Richard and Joan Handtke. Finds the agreed judgment is clearly erroneous to the extent that it relates to these erroneous orders. However, the Court of Appeals affirms the agreed judgment to the extent that it relates to the lien against the Chesterfield Estates Property held by third-party plaintiff K & S Engineering.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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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