ILNews

Supreme Court grants 5 transfers

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted five transfers within the past week to cases dealing with traffic stops, life insurance polices, unpaid medical expenses, modification of a custody order, and plea agreements.

The high court granted transfer and released its opinion yesterday in Sergio Campos v. State of Indiana, No. 45S03-0804-CR-199, involving a traffic stop and Sergio Campos' arrest after police found drugs in the car. A story in today's Indiana Lawyer Daily covers the Campos case in more detail.

The Supreme Court granted transfer April 30 to Estate of Jerome Mintz v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. and Wayne E. Gruber, No. 49A05-0609-CV-532. At issue is whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Wayne E. Gruber on the estate's negligence claim and whether the court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Connecticut General as to the estate's vicarious liability, negligence, and bad faith claims. Jerome Mintz was retiring and needed to convert his group life insurance policy into an individual policy. Mintz, who died before the suit concluded, didn't properly convert his policies because he believed Gruber had taken care of the conversion. When Connecticut General wouldn't allow the entire value of the group policy converted into his individual policy, the Mintzes brought a suit against Gruber and Connecticut General. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Transfer was also granted Wednesday in James Butler, as personal representative of Nondis Jane Butler, deceased v. Indiana Department of Insurance, et al., No. 49A05-0612-CV-742; In the Matter of the Paternity of K.I., by grandmother and next friend, Juanita Ivers v. Jeremy Hensley, No. 13A05-0706-JV-329; and Bruce Wayne St. Clair Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 76A03-0708-CR-361.

At issue in Butler is whether the trial court erred in admitting evidence regarding payments and benefits from Medicare and Medicaid in violation of the collateral source rule and whether the court erred by denying the estate's request to recover Nondis Jane Butler's unpaid medical expenses pursuant to the Indiana Adult Wrongful Death Statute. The appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

In Ivers, the appellate court reversed the trial court's ruling that awarded custody of K.I. to Jeremy Hensley from Juanita Ivers and granted Ivers visitation. The appellate court remanded for a determination of whether the parental presumption had been overcome and if so, whether a modification is in the best interest of K.I. and whether there had been a change in one or more of the relevant statutory factors.

At issue in St. Clair is whether Bruce W. St. Clair waived his right to a direct appeal by entering a plea agreement with a fixed plea. The trial court denied St. Clair's petition, but the appellate court reversed it, finding he had an open plea and met the requirements of Post-Conviction Rule 2. The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded the issue so that St. Clair would have the opportunity to argue for a lesser sentence in accordance with his open plea agreement.
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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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