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Opinions Sept. 16, 2010

September 16, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court

Foundations of East Chicago, Inc., Successor by Merger to East Chicago Community Development Foundation, Inc. and Twin City Education Foundation, Inc. v. City of East Chicago
No. 49S02-0908-CV-00383
Civil. Justices granted a rehearing petition, holding that the city didn’t follow Indiana Appellate Rule 65(E) and was premature in filing a motion at the trial court level before a previous appellate ruling was certified. Justices found the trial court correctly denied the city’s request, and it kept intact its original opinion from May.
 

Indiana Court of Appeals

Adoption of N.W., M.W. v A.W.
71A04-1002-AD-127
Adoption. Reverses grant of adoption of N.W. by stepmother A.W. The stepmother failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the mother’s consent to the adoption was not required. The adoption is also not in the best interest of the child.

Matthew B. Ashworth v. Kathryn Ehrgott (Ashworth)
49A05-0912-CV-727
Civil. Finds the trial court failed to deduct Ashworth’s $1,500 monthly alimony payment from his weekly gross income because it is a maintenance payment to mother, failed to credit Ashworth for the children’s health insurance premium, improperly included his daughter’s full-time preschool expenses as a work-related child care expense for Ehrgott even though she was not working, and that the record does not support the trial court’s order that Ashworth pay for his son’s private school tuition as added child support. Remands for further proceedings. Affirms on all other issues.

Brownsburg Municipal Building Corp. v. R.L. Turner Corp., et al.
32A01-1002-PL-37
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Brownsburg’s motion for partial summary judgment in a suit filed by R.L. Turner and St. Paul Fire in Turner’s suit for damages from breach of contract and under the theory of quantum meruit. There is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Turner and/or the architect timely complied with the provisions of the contract.

Calvin Sanders v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-714
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder.

T.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1002-JV-91
Juvenile. Affirms commitment of the Department of Correction.

William C. Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-0909-PC-460
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

James Griffith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1003-PC-394
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jason Barrett v. Scores, Inc. and Jason English (NFP)
82A01-1003-PL-177
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment to Scores Inc. and English on Barrett’s claims that English breached his fiduciary duty to Barrett and that both Scores and English committed conversion of Barrett’s property.

Timothy Manges v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1003-PC-186
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

A.E., et al., Alleged to be CHINS; T.E. v. Marion County DCS and Child Advocates (NFP)
49A02-1002-JC-203
Juvenile. Reverses determination that the three children are children in need of services. Remands for a new dispositional decree that includes written findings and conclusions concerning elements listed in Indiana Code Section 31-34-19-10.

Aaron Spears v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-70
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

C.T. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-JV-344
Juvenile. Affirms finding C.T. committed what would be Class B misdemeanor public nudity if committed by an adult.

Arron L. Declue v. State of Indiana (NFP)
44A03-1001-CR-79
Criminal. Affirms 20-year sentence with five years suspended for aggravated battery and criminal confinement, both as Class B felonies.

Richard Wion d/b/a Lothlorien Farms v. Town of North Manchester (NFP)
85A05-1004-PL-307
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for the town in its complaint to enforce an order for the owner of a building to vacate and demolish the building, which was deemed unsafe.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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