Opinions Sept. 9, 2010

September 9, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court
Matter of the Estate of Harry L. Rickert
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
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
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
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
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)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Wilfred V. Rhea, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of M.S. as a child in need of services.

Ricardo A. Telfer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

David D. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)

Small claim. Affirms dismissal of Mott’s small-claims action.

State of Indiana v. Charles Boyle (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Kevin D. Duncan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.