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Opinions Oct. 31, 2012

October 31, 2012
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The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Wendt, LLP v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
02T10-0701-TA-2
Tax. Affirms the department’s determination that the items predominately used by Wendt for estimate preparations, machinery reassembly and lawn care are not entitled to the public transportation exemption. Reverses all of the department’s remaining determinations because those items are necessary and integral to Wendt’s public transportation process. Remands and orders the department to make the necessary determinations in accordance with the opinion.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robertson Fowler v. State of Indiana
49A05-1202-PC-68
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Fowler received a benefit at the time he entered into his plea bargain, so he may not now challenge the sentence as illegal.

Larry Michael Caraway v. State of Indiana
47A04-1205-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms sentence for murder following open guilty plea. His sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Kevin M. Clark v. State of Indiana
20A05-1202-CR-62
Criminal. Affirms admission of evidence found in his bag and trunk of his car, and the admission of police testimony regarding the conversion of pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine. The police officers had reasonable suspicion to stop the men and because Clark admitted his bag contained marijuana, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting items found in his bag. The police trooper’s testimony regarding conversion was rationally based on her perceptions and was helpful to the determination of facts at issue in the case.

Gaude L. Hughes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1203-CR-132
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.

Billy Fox, Jr. v. Rogers Building Ventures, et al. (NFP)
53A05-1203-CP-160
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of objection to personal jurisdiction and the motion to set aside judgment.

Joshua D. Hughes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1112-PC-591
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Ind. Trial Rule 72(E) request for an extension of time within which to appeal the denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

C.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1203-JV-232
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as delinquent for what would be Class C felony battery if committed by an adult.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of D.C.: L.B. (father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
82A01-1203-JT-114
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.  

Troy and Mary Hill v. Beta Steel Corporation (NFP)
93A02-1203-EX-215
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of death benefits.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of A.A.M., and B.J. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
02A03-1201-JT-42
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Lukuman Aderbigbe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1203-PC-219
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Kenneth W. Gilland v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A01-1203-CR-143
Criminal. Reverses order that Gilland pay more than $20,000 in restitution. Because Gilland agreed to pay nearly $10,000 in restitution in a plea agreement, he may not challenge the portion that relates to the loss in value of a motorcycle on appeal. Remands with instructions to reduce the restitution order to $9,949.62.

James R. Ferguson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1110-CR-968
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Gregory J. Schnelker v. Indiana Department of Insurance Patient's Compensation Authority (NFP)
49A02-1201-CT-33
Civil tort. Affirms order which declined to award Schnelker damages for loss of wages and capacity and for increased risk of future harm.

Timothy A. Stevens v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A03-1111-PC-525
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Steven Hook, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1204-CR-203
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon.

Mark Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1201-CR-4
Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms original opinion in all respects, which affirmed the order Williams serve his entire sentence that was suspended at the time of initial sentencing.

Frederic Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1110-PC-621
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.D.: W.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1203-JT-201
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.
 

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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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