Opinions Sept. 1, 2010

September 1, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court

Suzanne Eads and James Atterhold, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance v. Community Hospital
No. 45S03-1001-CV-33
Civil. Rules general negligence claims filed with the Indiana Department of Insurance can continue an action already filed in state court relating to medical malpractice issues.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Paul E. Armstrong, Jr. v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.  The post-conviction court did not err by finding that Armstrong received effective assistance of counsel; Armstrong’s plea of guilty was voluntary; the state established a sufficient factual basis; and any error that stemmed from Armstrong not being represented by counsel at the sentencing hearing is harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mickey Sloan v. Town Council of the Town of Patoka
Civil. Reverses decision in favor of the town council, denying Sloan’s claim of inverse condemnation of a certain part of his real estate by the town of Patoka. The Town of Patoka’s use of Sloan’s property as a roadway without prior compensation being paid to Sloan or his predecessor in title constitutes a “taking” under an inverse condemnation theory. Remands for further proceedings.

Stuart A. Clampitt v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses order denying Clampitt’s motion to remove his status as a sexually violent predator. The Montgomery Circuit Court had jurisdiction to rule on his motion. Remands with instructions.

Alrita Morehead v. Duane Deitrich
Civil Tort. Affirms summary judgment for Deitrich in Morehead’s suit after she was bit by a dog that was living in a home Deitrich rented. The undisputed facts are that Deitrich was neither the owner nor the keeper of his tenants’ dog. Thus, as a matter of law, he had no duty to confine or restrain the dog.

Nathan R. Cook v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony domestic battery and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Kenneth W. Rhymer, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms probation revocation.

Robert Browning v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a Class C misdemeanor.

James N. Hamilton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for receiving stolen property as a Class D felony.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.