Opinions Sept. 17, 2013

September 17, 2013
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Indiana Tax Court
The following opinion was released after IL deadline Monday.
United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
Premiums tax. On remand from a reversal by the Indiana Supreme Court, denies UPS’s motion for summary judgment of an appeal of taxes due for the years 2000 and 2001 and grants summary judgment in favor of the Department of Revenue, holding that statutes governing premiums tax on out-of-state insurers are immune from Commerce Clause challenges.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Bartholomew County and Bartholomew County Commissioners v. Doug Johnson and Lucretia Johnson v. C & H/M Excavating and Construction, Inc., and Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD.
Civil tort. Reverses denial of summary judgment in favor of Bartholomew County. Remands for further proceedings as to the county’s allegedly negligent maintenance and operation of the bridge. Finds that under Indiana Code Section 34-13-3-3(10), the county had immunity from liability because the construction of the bridge was a delegable duty.

Evergreen Shipping Agency Corp., v. Djuric Trucking, Inc.
Civil collection. Affirms award of legal fees for Djuric Trucking Inc., holding that the award is not barred by the doctrine of res judicata and therefore Djuric has not waived its claim.

Nancy A. Missig v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, Andre M. Missig, and Autumn Missig
Civil tort. Affirms trial court ruling in a dispute over proceeds from a real estate insurance policy issued to the son and daughter-in-law of Nancy Missig who were purchasing a home from her on a land contract. Andre Missig and Autumn Missig received proceeds from a total-loss fire, but Nancy Missig failed to convince the appeals court that State Farm owed an interest to her because she was not named on the policy taken out by her son and daughter-in-law. Also affirmed is a trial court judgment in Nancy’s favor and a lien sufficient to satisfy the land contract on a property Andre and Autumn purchased with insurance proceeds.

Nathan K. Barker v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Remands for new sentencing order that does not exceed the 40-year cap on the executed portion of Barker’s sentence. Affirms all other aspects of his sentence. Finds since detainees serving home detention can earn credit for time served, Barker’s 120-day home detention exceeded the terms of his plea agreement which limited the executed time to 40 years. Also concludes the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it did not consider Barker’s apology as mitigating circumstance. Finally, holds that Barker failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that his sentence is inappropriate.  

Kenneth F. Kipp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony burglary; Class B felony armed robbery; two counts of Class B felony burglary; Class B felony attempted carjacking; two counts of Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon; Class C felony attempted robbery; two counts of Class D felony theft; Class D felony resisting law enforcement; and being a habitual offender.

Eric G. Couthen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed after revocation of probation for conviction of Class C felony intimidation.

Spiros Alatorre v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses and vacates convictions for Class A felony kidnapping and Class B felony carjacking on double-jeopardy grounds, but finds a 45-year executed sentence for conviction of murder is not inappropriate.

Dellia Castile v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 50-year aggregate sentence for conviction of Class A felony neglect of a dependent and Class B felony neglect of a dependent.

Katherine Cervantes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms five-year aggregate sentence for conviction of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Jennifer Rose Peverly v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate three-year sentence for conviction of three counts of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues