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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
38A02-1002-PC-137
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
26A01-0910-CV-506
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
54A01-1002-CR-64
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
09A04-1003-CT-172
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)
49A02-1001-CR-36
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony domestic battery and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

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

21A01-1004-CR-174
Criminal. Affirms probation revocation.

Robert Browning v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1002-CR-122
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a Class C misdemeanor.

James N. Hamilton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1001-CR-29
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 can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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