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Opinions Sept. 7, 2010

September 7, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
David Hatter, et al. v. Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.
49A02-0907-CV-659
Civil. Affirms jury trial and verdict in favor of Pierce Manufacturing in the Hatters’ product liability action. Hatter failed to exhaust one of his peremptory challenges and has not shown both of his challenges for cause were improperly denied. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in the giving of jury instructions or in excluding evidence and did not err by denying Hatter’s partial motion for judgment on the evidence.

Rod L. Avery and Marshall K. Avery v. Trina R. Avery
49A05-1004-PL-320
Civil plenary. Affirms default judgment entered against Rod and Marshall Avery in a will contest initiated by Trina Avery. Holds that a will contest is a civil action and that a defendant in a will contest is required to file an answer or otherwise plead to a complaint as provided in the trial rules.

Jeff Koehlinger, et al. v. State Lottery Commission of Indiana
49A02-1003-CT-247
Civil tort. Affirms denial of summary judgment to the lottery on its claim that appellants had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies. Affirms summary judgment for the lottery on the appellants’ tort, Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, and quasi-contractual claims. Reverses summary judgment on the contract rescission claim and remands for trial on the issue of detrimental reliance. Judge Riley dissents in part.

Larry Rodts v. Heart City Automotive, Inc.
20A04-1004-CT-249
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Heart City in Rodt’s breach of contract and wage payment claims. There are no genuine issues of material fact, Rodts’ oral contract is unenforceable, and his deferred compensation was not a wage.

Gregory Johnson v. State of Indiana
49A02-1003-CR-375
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor refusal to identify self. The state presented sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Haneef S. Jackson-Bey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1001-CR-36
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Umarex Sportwaffen GMBH, et al. v. Toyriffic, LLC d/b/a Hobbytron.com (NFP)
29A05-1001-PL-28
Civil plenary. Affirms order setting aside default on Umarex and other plaintiffs’ claim against Toyriffic for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false advertising and trade dress infringement, unfair competition, conversion, forgery, counterfeiting, and deception.

Theodore Ebeyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
41A05-0911-CR-674
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony possession of cocaine.

Mark Hendrickson, et al. v. Joseph Potetz, et al. (NFP)
87A01-1002-CT-111
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Coinmach Holdings in a wrongful death complaint.

Phillip J. Camp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1002-CR-210
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Dewan D. Burnett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1002-CR-61
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

John Chupp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0912-PC-683
Post conviction. Affirms in part and reverses in part denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Remands to the post-conviction court the issue of Chupp’s robbery conviction and directs the court to enter judgment of conviction as a Class C felony and sentence accordingly.

James D. Schregardus v. OH Retail, LL, LLC (NFP)
49A05-1002-PL-156
Civil plenary. Dismisses Schregardus’ appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Declines to award damages under Appellate Rule 66(E).

Salaheddin A. Alfaqeer d/b/a Tobacco Zone v. LOR Corp. (NFP)
49A04-1003-CC-213
Civil collection. Reverses denial of Alfaqeer’s motion to set aside judgment. Remands for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of D.M.; A.M. v. I.D.C.S. and Child Advocates (NFP)
49A04-1001-JT-116
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court granted 3 transfers and denied transfer to 18 cases for the week ending Sept. 3.
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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