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Opinions Oct. 29, 2010

October 29, 2010
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The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday.
Indiana Tax Court
Dale J. Scopelite and James T. Sheehan v. Indiana Dept. of Local Government Finance (NFP)
49T10-0812-TA-71
Tax. Affirms the Department of Local Government Finance’s final determination approving the City of Hammond’s budget and tax levy for the 2008 tax year.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
John Taele and Sarah Taele v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.
06A01-1004-CT-259
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of State Farm. The Taeles aren’t entitled to recover uninsured motorist benefits under their State Farm policy because they themselves were neither directly impacted nor directly physically injured by the accident that killed their daughter. Judge Crone dissents.

J.M. v. D.A.
43A03-1003-DR-183
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of father’s petition to modify child support. The trial court did not err by imputing potential earnings in father’s weekly gross income for purposes of calculating his support obligation after he became a full-time student. Reverses finding father in contempt because the trial court did not find that father has the financial ability to comply. Judge Bradford concurs in part, dissents in part.

Sean H. Chiszar v. State of Indiana
91A04-1004-CR-290
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony voyeurism, three counts of Class D felony possession of child pornography, Class A misdemeanors possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and battery. Chiszar didn’t show the voyeurism statute is unconstitutionally vague; the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion when it admitted evidence deputies obtained after Chiszar had consented to the search of his garage; and there was sufficient evidence to support the search warrant.

Douglas Denzell v. State of Indiana
49A02-1001-CR-89
Criminal. Affirms denial of Denzell’s motion to dismiss criminal charges of Class A misdeneaor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Denzell does not satisfy the test in Davis and Habibzadah to show a due process violation because there remains the possibility that he will be restored to competency, even though he cannot be sentenced to an additional term if convicted.  

Y.G. v. Review Board
93A02-1004-EX-538
Civil. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits. There is no indication Y.G. explained his limitations or sought an alternative placement until such time as his disability subsided.

Rebecca Reed-Harrison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-740
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to dismiss criminal charge. Remands with instructions.

State of Indiana v. Lynn Wilson (NFP)
49A02-1003-PC-644
Post conviction. Reverses grant of Wilson’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Ivette Haylett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-CR-113
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Charles Huntley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-CR-401
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license which was enhanced to a Class C felony due to a prior conviction.

Joel Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A05-1002-CR-52
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to five Class B felonies.

Michael Clay v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1002-CR-56
Criminal. Affirms convictions of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury as a Class A felony and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.K.; S.K. v. IDCS (NFP)
76A03-1004-JT-247
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Tracy D. Price v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1004-CR-399
Criminal. Affirms decision to order the execution of Price’s suspended sentence after he violated probation terms.

Peters Broadcast Engineering v. WROI-FM (NFP)
25A03-1005-SC-260
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of the radio station in a dispute over alleged unpaid balance plus interest of invoices for repair and installation services performed for the station.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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