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Opinions Sept. 20, 2011

September 20, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no opinions from Indiana courts at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
Rod L. Avery and Marshall K. Avery v. Trina R. Avery
49S05-1102-PL-76
Civil plenary. Affirms default judgment entered against Rod and Marshall Avery. The Indiana Trial Rules apply to will contest actions, and the failure to file an answer or responsive pleading in accordance with Trial Rule 7 may result in a default judgment.

Richard L. Barnes v. State of Indiana

82S05-1007-CR-343
Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms original opinion that residents don’t have a common law right to resist police entering a person’s home. The castle doctrine is not a defense to battery or any violence against a police officer who is acting in his or her duties. Justice Rucker dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas Temple v. State of Indiana
27A05-1101-CR-31
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Rejects Temple’s proposed definition of “induce,” and rejects his claims, premised upon that definition, that there was insufficient evidence and that there was a fatal variance between the charging information and the evidence adduced at trial.

State of Indiana v. Jonathon McDonald
32A05-1102-CR-56
Criminal. Reverses dismissal of charges against McDonald. The trial court erred by dismissing the charges based on the successive prosecution statute. Remands for further proceedings.

David L. McDaniel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A03-1102-CR-72
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony criminal recklessness.

Darnell Kelly, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1101-CR-67
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary and finding that Kelly is a habitual offender.

Richard West v. Elizabeth West (now Smith) (NFP)
22A01-1102-DR-45
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Richard West’s petition to modify child custody and the award of $5,000 in attorney fees to Elizabeth West.

Daniel Zunica v. Zuncor, Inc., Steven A. Coppolillo, Jared Tomich, et al. (NFP)
45A04-1009-PL-700
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of motion to correct error brought by Zunica, which challenged a jury verdict finding him liable for breach of fiduciary duty in an action brought by Zuncor Inc. and shareholders.

Jon Dalton Gates v. State of Indiana (NFP)

12A02-1102-CR-160
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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