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Opinions Oct. 4, 2010

October 4, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Donald L. Pruitt v. State of Indiana
55A01-0912-CR-597
Criminal. Affirms denial of Pruitt’s motion to suppress, who was charged with operating a motor vehicle after driving privileges had been forfeited for life as a Class C felony. The lack of limiting language in Indiana Code Section 9-30-10-17 supports that Indiana Code sections 9-21-18-1 to 9-21-18-15 do not bar law enforcement officers from investigating violations in private parking lots in the absence of a contractual agreement with the property owner. Concludes the police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop Pruitt for driving without headlights.

SPCP Group, LLC v. Dolson, Inc., et al.
19A01-0912-CV-604
Civil. Affirms denial of SPCP Group’s motion for partial summary judgment and grant of Holland’s cross-motion for summary judgment on SPCP’s complaint seeking foreclosure of a mortgage on Holland’s real property. The undisputed facts establish that the mortgage SPCP seeks to foreclose inaccurately and inadequately describes the debt it purports to secure, and as a result, SPCP cannot establish an essential element of its claim.

Andy Alafogianis, et al. v. Joseph Guffey, et al. (NFP)
33A01-1003-PL-98
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Guffey in his suit for the balances owed on each account held by Alafogianis for work Guffey’s companies completed in Alafogianis’ restaurants.

T.J. and Ginger Richard v. Janet Egolf (NFP)
25A04-1001-SC-28
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Eglof on the Richards’ claim of being sold an allegedly lame horse, and in favor of Eglof in her counterclaim regarding costs to care for the horse when the Richards left it with her.

Qwinces LLC, et al. v. Viking Hardwoods, Inc., et al. (NFP)
17A03-1002-CC-102
Civil collections. Reverses default judgment and damages award in favor of Viking Hardwoods in their suit alleging breaches of contract against Quinces and remands for further proceedings.
 
R.R. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-0912-EX-1227
Civil. Affirms denial of unemployment compensation benefits.

Bettye Alvis v. Professional Account Service, Inc. (NFP)
84A04-1004-PL-253
Civil plenary. Reverses order awarding Alvis $500 in attorney’s fees and no costs following summary judgment in her favor on her wage payment claim. Remands with instructions to award Alvis $6,460 in attorney fees and $364.17 in costs.

Adoption of W.G.; D.M. and K.M. v. T.G. (NFP)
67A05-1001-AD-105
Adoption. Reverses order granting father T.G.’s motion to set aside the grandparents’ adoption of W.G. based on fraud. Remands with instructions to reinstate the adoption decree.

Jamie Keys v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-CR-101
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Curtis D. Holiday v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1005-CR-603
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony possession of cocaine.

Wayne Jewell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A05-1002-PC-115
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Wayne Miller v. Jennifer Shue (NFP)
34A04-1002-SC-105
Small claims. Affirms small-claims judgment in favor of Shue for $3,600 and remands for the court to determine an amount of appellate attorney’s fees and costs to which Shue is entitled.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court granted one transfer and denied transfer to 27 cases for the week ending Sept. 30.
 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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