Opinions Oct. 9, 2012

October 9, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals released no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court released no opinions by IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Ralph Jennings d/b/a A Cut Above Tree Service v. Terrance Kinnard (NFP)
Collections. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of relief to Kinnard from a default judgment of $4,189.22 for the plaintiff.
Jeffrey Allen Rowe v. Bruce Lemon, et al
Civil Plenary. Court of Appeals affirms in part, reverses in part and remands the summary judgment denying an Indiana Department of Correction inmate kosher meals. The court ruled the DOC did not establish either that the vegan meal plan is kosher or that the inmate lacked sincere religious reasons for requesting a kosher diet.    

Paul R. Semenick v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Court of Appeals reverses conviction for criminal trespass finding insufficient evidence to sustain the conviction. The court ruled that the state failed in its burden to prove material elements of criminal trespass because it did not present evidence disavowing the individual’s contractual interest in being on the property and did not establish the breadth of an occasional part-time contract employee’s authority.

Jon E. Garcia v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony criminal recklessness, holding that the trial court properly denied Garcia’s motion for a directed verdict. The court held that a car meets the definition of “a place where people are likely to gather” under I.C. 35-42-2-2(c)(3)(A), the criminal recklessness statute involving discharge of a firearm that creates a risk of bodily injury.  

American Cold Storage, et al v. The City of Boonville
Civil plenary/annexation. Divided court reverses annexation and remands to the trial court, holding that the trial court erred in counting separate state-owned parcels that were purchased to build State Road 62 rather than counting the road as a single parcel under the remonstrance statute, thereby making it impossible for remonstrators to satisfy the 65 percent rule.

Thomson, Inc. n/k/a Technicolor USA, Inc., Technicolor Inc., and Technicolor Limited v. Continental Casualty Co., Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., et al.
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s judgment in favor of defendants, holding that the trial court did not err in basing its judgment on comity in deference to a California decision on the matter, but the court did not address the plaintiff’s other arguments.

Travis Koontz v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Divided court affirms trial court denial of motion to correct error for misdemeanor sentences that exceeded the statutory authority, finding that Koontz waived any error in his sentence by consenting to it as part of a plea agreement.
Indiana Public Employee Retirement Fund v. Paul Bryson
Miscellaneous/disability. Divided court affirms a trial court decision setting aside a PERF ruling that Bryson was entitled to Class 2 impairment disability benefits and finding Bryson instead entitled to Class 1 benefits. The appeals court held that the trial court did not err because a pre-existing condition did not impair his abilities to perform job duties as a firefighter and that his covered impairment is a direct result of three on-duty personal injuries.

Theothus Carter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s 65-year aggregate resentence on Class A felony convictions of attempted murder and attempted robbery and Class B felony convictions of burglary and being a habitual offender.

Marion Spencer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor conviction of criminal recklessness while using a vehicle and remands to the trial court for correction of the judgment of conviction and CCS.

Norman Trent v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Bobbie Buckles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentences for Class C felony possession of precursors and Class B felony possession of methamphetamine.

John Ray Henry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Carl L. Johnson v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Williams Systems LLC (NFP)
Executive administration/unemployment. Affirms determination of the Department of Workforce Development that Johnson was not entitled to unemployment benefits.

Victor Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions of robbery and attempted robbery as Class B felonies.


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.