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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. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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