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Opinions, Oct. 3, 2013

October 3, 2013
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Opinions, Oct. 3, 2013

Indiana Tax Court

Orange County Assessor v. James E. Stout
49T10-1112-TA-94
Property tax. Affirms the final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that the Orange County Assessor failed the meet the burden of proving that Stout’s land assessment was proper. Finds although the Indiana Board applied a 2011 statute to a 2010 appeal, the 2011 law was not new but a clarification of the original 2009 statute which shifted the burden to the assessor. Also rules the assessor failed to provide any evidence demonstrating that Stout was not using his 8.12 acre property for an agriculture purpose.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Koch Development Corporation and Daniel L. Koch v. Lori A. Koch, as Personal Representative of the Estate of William A. Koch, Jr., Deceased
82A04-1212-PL-612
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court’s judgment that Lori A. Koch, as personal representative of the Estate of William A. Koch Jr., does not have to sell the estate’s share in Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari to Koch Development Corp. and Daniel L. Koch. Finds the evidence supports the conclusion that Daniel Koch and KDC materially breached the terms of the Share Purchase and Security Agreement by offering a per-share price that was significantly less than the price agreed to by the parties. Also rules that this material breach relieves the estate from its obligation sell its shares.  

Katherine Chaffins and Roger Chaffins Sr. v. Clint Kauffman, M.D.; Family and Women's Health Services; and Pulaski County Memorial Hospital
66A04-1302-CT-85
Civil tort. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Clint Kauffman and Family and Women’s Health Services, with the majority finding that a material issue of genuine fact exists as to the Chaffinses’ claim that defendants’ alleged negligence after a colonoscopy resulted in 12 hours of prolonged pain before the subsequent diagnosis of a perforated colon. Judge Elaine Brown dissented and would have affirmed summary judgment because no evidence shows that the defendants deviated from the standard of care appropriate in such a case.

Geroge A. Nunley v. State of Indiana
10A04-1212-CR-630
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony robbery but reverses habitual offender finding because it was based on a complaint amended after a jury had been empaneled, prejudicing Nunley’s substantial rights. The panel concluded that no part of I.C. 35-34-1-5 allowed the amendment that the state proposed in this case. The matter was remanded to removing the 12-year enhancement to an eight-year sentence on the robbery conviction.

Shayla Bowling v. State of Indiana
92A03-1212-CR-553
Criminal. Affirms a conviction of Class D felony domestic violence, holding that a jury properly determined that Bowling was “living as if a spouse” with the victim with whom she was involved in a romantic relationship despite being married to another man. The court rejected Bowling’s argument that she could not be living as if a spouse with another person while she was married because to do so would be bigamy and that applying the domestic violence statute in her case could arguably broaden the scope of the law.

Jose Garcia v. G. Wm. Walker Construction (NFP)
93A02-1305-EX-437
Civil. Affirms the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s ruling that Garcia’s injury did not arise from his employment.

Elbert G. Elliott v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1212-CR-659
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Elliott’s probation based on drug use and willful failure to pay restitution.

Milton L. Medsker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1303-PC-203
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Medsker’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Marlen Hernandez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1304-CR-181
Criminal. Affirms conviction for criminal recklessness, a Class D felony.

Richard Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A01-1212-CR-571
Criminal. Affirms Green’s conviction for armed robbery, a Class B felony, and his adjudication as a habitual offender.

Robert Klinglesmith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1303-CR-116
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part. Concludes that Klinglesmith did not suffer fundamental error due to the cumulative effect of allegedly erroneously admitted evidence but that one of his two convictions for Class B felony criminal deviate conduct must be vacated due to double jeopardy concerns.  

Matthew P. Thrall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
56A05-1304-CR-159
Criminal. Affirms 13-year sentence for pleading guilty to one count of Class B felony rape.

Priority Press, Inc. v. Media Methodology (NFP)
29A02-1303-SC-278
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Media Methodology.

Rasheen Middleton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1301-CR-8
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 12-year sentence, with two years suspended, for one count of Class B felony unlawful possession of firearm by a serious violent felon.

Dennis Tiller v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1211-CR-928
Criminal. Affirms convictions for one count child molesting as a Class A felony and one count child molesting as a Class C felony. Concludes while the prosecutor’s comments may have been more narrowly construed, they did not prevent Tiller from receiving a fair trial.

Indiana Supreme Court released no opinions before IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals released no Indiana opinions before IL deadline.
 

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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