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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
20S05-1301-CR-10
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
46A04-1203-CR-143
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
79A04-1304-CT-185        
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
02A03-1211-CT-502
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.
49A02-1210-CT-806
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)
45A05-1302-CR-57
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)
49A04-0907-CR-370
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)
02A04-1212-CR-651
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)
45A05-1302-CR-85
Criminal. Affirms 12-year sentence for conviction of Class B felony voluntary manslaughter.

Jennifer Barber v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1208-CR-395
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)
49A02-1211-CR-904
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and being a habitual offender.

Ryan Schonabaum v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1302-CR-44
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)
39A01-1211-MI-527
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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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