Opinions Sept. 18, 2013

September 18, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court

The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Tuesday.

Kevin M. Clark v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction and 45-year sentence for Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine, holding that police violated the Fourth Amendment protections of Kevin Clark when a late-night call regarding someone allegedly living improperly at a 24-hour self-storage unit instead became a “fishing expedition” for narcotics based on an officer’s hunch. Officers saw nothing illegal or appearing to constitute narcotics use, and evidence gathered from resulting search must be suppressed as fruit of the poison tree, a 4-1 majority ruled. Justice Mark Massa dissented, holding that when Clark dropped a bag as police approached, it provided reasonable suspicion, as did Clark’s subsequent admission that the bag contained marijuana.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Mario A. Allen v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction for attempted robbery, a Class B felony, attempted robbery, a Class B felony, and adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting into evidence Allen’s arrest report and a co-defendant’s handwritten statement to police. Also rules the trial court properly excluded Allen’s proffered exhibit of an undated taxi cab receipt. Concludes the evidence was sufficient to sustain Allen’s conviction and that Allen abandoned his request for an early trial.

Anonymous, M.D. and Life Care Centers of America, Inc., d/b/a Lane House v. Evelyn Hendricks
Civil tort. Reverses and remands the denial of Lane House’s motion to stay the proceedings and compel arbitration. Rules although Hendricks did not sign the arbitration agreement herself, she expressly authorized her health care representative to sign and she is now bound by that signing. Also finds that language in the agreement clearly indicates while the National Arbitration Forum is the preferred arbitrator, another arbitration service or method can be used.  

Lifeline Youth & Family Services v. Installed Building Products, Inc. d/b/a Momper Insulation
Civil tort. Affirms trial court denial of motion to correct error over a jury’s award of damages resulting from a fire. Lifeline sought an order to increase the jury’s award of damages from 55 percent of the loss to 100 percent, but the panel ruled that evidence Lifeline relied on to make its argument was not properly before the court because no transcript had been provided.

Brenda Hall v. Dallman Contractors, LLC, Shook, LLC and AT&T Services, Inc.
Civil tort. Reverses and remands a trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of AT&T Services Inc. The court found there are issues of material fact concerning whether AT&T Services was Hall’s employer or a joint employer, and that the company has not established that Hall’s negligence claim against it was barred by the exclusive remedy provision of the Worker’s Compensation Act.

Anthony Michael Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence for conviction of Class C felony operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension.

David Barbee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct error challenging his convictions of murder and Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Billye D. Gaulden v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 50-year sentence for conviction of Class B felony robbery and two counts of Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Carlos Lamonte Minor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 12-year sentence for conviction of Class B felony voluntary manslaughter.

Jennifer Barber v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class C misdemeanor failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident.

Sanders Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and being a habitual offender.

Ryan Schonabaum v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 50-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Certain Properties Being Sold for Delinquent Taxes; Tax Sale Certificate #3910192 Parcel #39-0-17-114-024.000-007; Norman Eggers v. MLP Services, LLP and Jefferson County, IN. Auditor, et al. (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Affirms issuance of a tax deed to MLP Services and remands to the trial court to determine damages for an appeal brought in bad faith.

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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.