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Opinions Sept. 9, 2010

September 9, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court
Matter of the Estate of Harry L. Rickert
18S04-1002-CV-118
Civil. Reverses judgment in favor of Taylor, who was Rickert’s power of attorney, that she receive the money from accounts in which she was a joint holder. The presumption is that Taylor’s use of her power of attorney to benefit herself made those accounts invalid, and she failed to overcome that presumption to allow her to inherit the money. Remands with direction to order restoration to the estate of bank accounts owned of record by Rickert and Taylor that were created through use of Taylor’s power of attorney from Rickert and lacking any support documentation indicating participation by Rickert.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Mark Kinsel v. Robert and Dolores Schoen
25A05-0910-CV-615
Civil. Affirms denial of Kinsel’s motion to correct error following a judgment in favor of the Schoens for damages and injunctive relief against Kinsel for negligence, nuisance, and trespass. The trial court correctly determined the common enemy doctrine doesn’t apply and Kinsel may be held liable for his leaking pond.

Robert C. Bergstrom, Jr. v. State of Indiana
92A05-1003-IF-170
Infraction. Dismisses appeal because Bergstrom failed to timely file his notice of appeal within 30 days from the date his motion to correct error was deemed denied. Bergstrom did not file his notice of appeal until March 4, 2010, which, while within 30 days from the date the trial court issued an order denying Bergstrom’s motion to correct error, was not within 30 days from the date his motion was deemed denied under Indiana Trial Rule 53.3(A).

Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company v. Jeremy Oliver
20A03-1003-SC-162
Small claim. Affirms judgment in favor of Oliver in an action against him arising from an uninsured motor vehicle accident. The relaxed rules in the small-claims setting in Indiana, coupled with the provision in S.C.R. 4(A) that places the statute of limitations at issue without the need for the defendant to raise it, allows a small-claims court to decide a case based upon the statute of limitations where the defendant failed to raise or mention it at trial, but the matter was discussed during trial.

Thomas C. Temperly v. State of Indiana
49A02-1001-CR-52
Criminal. Remands with instructions to vacate the Class A misdemeanor conviction and sentence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and enter judgment and an appropriate sentence for Class A misdemeanor operating with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or more. There was insufficient evidence Temperly operated his vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangered a person. Finds the consensual chemical test was reasonable under the state and federal constitutions. The BAC evidence was validly obtained pursuant to Indiana Code Section 9-30-7-3, complied with the requirements of I.C. Section 9-30-6-2, and was admissible in Temperly’s prosecution under Chapter 9-30-5

Steve Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-PC-227
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Wilfred V. Rhea, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-0910-CR-485
Criminal. Vacates conviction of operating a vehicle with a BAC of at least 0.08 but less than 0.15 as a Class C misdemeanor. Remands for further proceedings.

M.S., Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; J.F. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
42A01-1001-JC-32
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of M.S. as a child in need of services.

Ricardo A. Telfer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1001-CR-106
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

David D. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-CR-139
Criminal. Affirms the search warrant issued justified the search that turned up the drugs and affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Reverses conviction of Class C felony possession of cocaine and a firearm and remands to the trial court with instructions to vacate it and the sentence.

Fred Mott v. Ed Buss, et al. (NFP)

46A04-1003-SC-170
Small claim. Affirms dismissal of Mott’s small-claims action.

State of Indiana v. Charles Boyle (NFP)
49A05-0911-PC-627
Post conviction. Reverses order granting Boyle’s petition to modify his conviction of operating a motor vehicle while a habitual traffic violator as a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor.

Courtney E. Terhune v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1003-CR-228
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Kevin D. Duncan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1003-CR-244
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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