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Opinions Sept. 15, 2011

September 15, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Cheryl A. Burns v. Orthoteck Inc. Employees’ Pension Plan and Trust, et al.
10-1521
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms finding that Cheryl Burns’ consent to designate her husband’s three sons as beneficiaries was valid and affirms the denial of her claim for benefits. The unusual circumstances of the case lead to the conclusion that the pension plan was within its discretion to find that Dr. Burns, as plan representative, verified the authenticity of his wife’s signature on the written consent form and this satisfied 29 U.S.C. 1055’s witness requirement. The plan was also within its discretion to deny Burns’ claim for benefits.

Indiana Supreme Court
Mary Beth Lucas and Perry Lucas v. U.S. Bank, N.A., as Trustee for the C-Bass Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-MH-1
28S01-1102-CV-78
Civil. Affirms denial of the Lucases’ request for a jury trial on their defenses and claims in a foreclosure action. The borrowers’ claims and defenses shall be tried in equity because the core legal questions presented by the borrowers’ defenses and claims are significantly intertwined with the subject matter of the foreclosure. Justices Dickson and Rucker dissent.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Frederick R. Lucas v. Darrin McDonald
63A04-1010-PL-644
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of verified petition for relief from lifetime sex-offender registration requirement. Lucas did not meet his burden of proving that the trial court’s decision is against the logic and effect of all the facts and circumstances of his case.

Board of Works of the City of Lake Station, Indiana, et al. v. I.A.E., Inc., Consulting Engineers
45A03-1007-CP-369
Civil plenary. Affirms jury verdict and the trial court’s rulings in favor of I.A.E. Consulting Engineering in its suit seeking payment from Lake Station on money owed for work completed. There is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that I.A.E. didn’t make a business decision in 1994 to quit working on the project.  Remands with instructions for the trial court to recalculate the prejudgment interest award, using simple interest from the date of I.A.E.’s demand.

City of Jeffersonville, Indiana and City of Jeffersonville Sanitary Sewer Board v. Environmental Management Corporation
10A01-1005-PL-217
Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part regarding EMC’s complaint stemming from Jeffersonville’s attempt to take over the sewer system. The city did not provide sufficient notice to EMC 90 days before terminating the contract. Reverses summary judgment for EMC on its Open Door claims because EMC should have known that the letters in question were not authorized at a public meeting. Affirms the finding that the city is in contempt of the agreed entry. Remands with instructions to modify the award of attorney fees to reflect only the amount EMC incurred in relation to its contempt complaint and the award of costs to only reflect EMC’s filing fees and statutory witness fees. Affirms reducing EMC’s corporate support expenses from its losses during the calculation of EMC’s damages.

National Wine & Spirits, Inc., National Wine & Spirits Corporation, NWS Michigan, Inc., and NWS, LLC v. Ernst & Young, LLP
49A02-1012-CT-1289
Civil tort. Reverses grant of Ernst & Young’s second motion for summary judgment on National Wine and Spirits’ action for fraud and deception. The successive motion was proper, but there are genuine issues of material fact and res judicata doesn’t bar National Wine and Spirits’ claims.

Kathryn M. Richardson v. Todd E. Richardson (NFP)
49A05-1101-DR-28
Domestic relation. Affirms grant of Todd Richardson’s post-dissolution petition to enforce a settlement agreement and the denial of Kathryn Richardson’s motion to correct error.

Linzy C. Motton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1012-CR-1440
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of N.S. and A.S.; A.L. v. IDCS (NFP)
49A02-1102-JT-206
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Cordaro Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1012-CR-1410
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for dealing in cocaine as a Class B felony.

Every Meadows LLC v. McKnight Excavating Inc., and Chad McKnight (NFP)
30A01-1012-PL-650
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Every Meadows’ motion to correct error.

Addison Pijnapples v. State of Indiana (NFP)
38A05-1008-CR-510
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of K.T.; K.K.T. v. IDCS (NFP)
71A02-1103-JT-313
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Ronnie Harness v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1012-CR-770
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for Class A felony and Class C felony child molesting.

Brent Turner v. Jody (Turner) Bruce (NFP)
30A01-1102-DR-61
Domestic relation. Reverses order finding Brent Turner’s son partially emancipated. Affirms holding Turner in contempt for nonpayment of child support, and that he pay attorney fees to Jody Turner Bruce.

Torrien Jefferson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1300
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine.

Michael J. Stohler v. Mary Anne Stohler (NFP)
48A04-1101-DR-51
Domestic relation. Affirms determination of Michael Stohler’s income and the apportioning of daughter’s educational expenses. Reverses the apportioning liability for son’s college expenses and educational tax credits received by Mary Anne Stohler. Remands with instructions.  

Timothy L. Hahn v. State of Indiana (NFP)

18A04-1103-PC-176
Post conviction. Reverses summary dismissal of petition for post-conviction relief.

Mitchell Lynn v. Janet S. Greer and James L. Greer (NFP)
45A05-1102-PL-83
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of the Greers’ motion for judgment on the evidence.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.M. and M.M.; T.H. & A.A.M., Sr. v. IDCS (NFP)
02A03-1101-JT-67
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Adrian F. Cole v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1103-PC-348
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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