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Supreme Court accepts 5 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court has taken five cases on transfer, including one that presents two issues of first impression on prejudgment interest.

In Kathy Inman v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 41S01-1108-CT-515, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that state statute allows a litigant to receive prejudgment interest in an uninsured motorist case, even when it exceeds insurance policy limits for those types of claims. The appellate court looked at the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statute and cases from other courts to hold that a claim against one’s insurer for underinsured motorist benefits is a civil action arising out of tortious conduct and it’s appropriate to award prejudgment interest under Indiana Code 34-51-4-5.

The judges also looked to other courts for guidance on the issue of prejudgment interest in excess of the policy limits and held an insurer can be required to pay prejudgment interest in excess of uninsured and/or underinsured motorist limits in an action brought by an insured for failure to pay uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage.

The justices also took:

- Jimmie Ernest Jones Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 29S02-1105-CR-511, in which the COA affirmed Jimmie Jones’ conviction of felony murder, holding the trial court didn’t err by refusing his tendered instructions on reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter because evidence suggests Jones knowingly and willingly killed the victim.

- Mickey Cundiff v. State of Indiana, No. 31S05-1108-CR-512, in which the appellate court affirmed Mickey Cundiff’s conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, finding he wasn’t entitled to a speedy trial pursuant to Ind. Criminal Rule 4(B) despite his incarceration on an unrelated charge. A defendant must be incarcerated on the pending charges to be entitled to the benefits of the 70-day speedy trial rule, the court held.

- Jennings Daugherty v. State of Indiana, No. 89S01-1108-CR-513, in which the COA affirmed in a not-for-publication decision Jennings Daugherty’s convictions of and sentence for Class D felony intimidation, Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, two counts of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Daugherty claimed that the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress constituted an abuse of discretion; his multiple convictions for possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon violated the prohibitions against double jeopardy; that the trial court erred in allowing the state to amend the habitual offender information; and his sentence was inappropriate.

- AOL LLC v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, No. 49S10-1108-TA-514, in which the Indiana Tax Court reversed the department of state revenue’s final determinations which denied AOL’s two claims for a refund. The court ordered the department to refund to AOL the use taxes it paid during the tax periods at issue.

The Supreme Court denied transfer to 37 cases, including Allan C. Bir v. Cynthia Bir, No. 06A01-1009-DR-449, in which the attorneys representing Allan asked the high court to take the case because they believed new child support guidelines are unconstitutional and the Court of Appeals doesn’t have the authority to go against them. Revisions in 2010 changed the payment scheme for high-income earners and raised the ceiling on child support obligations.
 

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  1. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  3. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  4. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  5. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

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