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Opinions Oct. 1, 2010

October 1, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday.
Indiana Supreme Court
Caesars Riverboat Casino, LLC v. Genevieve M. Kephart
31S01-0909-CV-403
Civil. Reverses trial court denial of Caesar’s motion to dismiss Kephart’s counterclaim under Trial Rule 12 (B)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Holds that no common law right exists for patrons to recover damages for casino gambling losses. Justice Boehm concurs in result and Justice Dickson dissents.

Sheehan Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. Continental Casualty Co., et al.
49S02-1001-CV-32
Civil. Reverses trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurers on grounds that there was no damage to the property and thus there was no “occurrence” or “property damage” and remands for further proceedings. Faulty workmanship may constitute an accident and thus an occurrence depending on the facts under a standard commercial general liability insurance policy. Chief Justice Shepard and Justice Sullivan dissent.

State of Indiana v. James S. Hobbs, IV
19S01-1001-CR-10
Criminal. Reverses trial court finding that the search violated the Fourth Amendment and Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution and the consequent suppression of the fruits of the search. Hobbs’ car was an operational vehicle in a public place, the dog sniff wasn’t conducted under circumstances where Hobbs was unconstitutionally seized and the dog  sniff provided probable cause that the car contained evidence of a crime. Justice Sullivan dissents in which Justice Rucker joins.

Thomas P. Donovan v. Grant Victoria Casino & Resort, L.P.
49S02-1003-CV-124
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the casino on Donovan’s breach-of-contract claim and declaratory judgment that the casino can’t exclude him for counting cards. The long-standing common law right of private property owners extends to the operator of a riverboat casino that wishes to exclude a patron for employing strategies designed to give the patron a statistical advantage over the casino. The Riverboat Gambling Act, which gives the Indiana Gaming Commission exclusive authority to set the rules of licensed casino games, does not abrogate this common law right. Justice Dickson dissents.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Annex Books, Inc., et al. v. City of Indianapolis, Ind.
09-4156
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms preliminary injunction of ordinance requiring adult bookstores to be closed certain hours. The single article introduced by Indianapolis didn’t support its argument and the evidence of arrest data near the plaintiffs’ store appears to support the plaintiffs.

United States of America v. Charles Suggs
09-2700
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David F. Hamilton.
Criminal.  Affirms District Court’s application at sentencing of a four-level increase for using or possessing a firearm in connection with another felony offense after Suggs pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The District Court could reasonably conclude that Suggs grasped the handgun while resisting officers, ignored their orders, and that his grasp on the handgun without telling officers about his gun implied an intent to bring it forth and use it in some manner.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lawrence Terrell Davis v. State of Indiana
45A04-1002-CR-97
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony auto theft, Class D felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and for being a habitual offender. Davis failed to show that the trial court failed to give him the required advisement that by waiving his right to a jury trial on the underlying offenses that he also waived his right to a jury trial in the habitual offender phase. Remands with instructions to enter a habitual offender enhancement that is consistent with the opinion.

Gary S. Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
47A01-1001-CR-31
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Cory A. Waltmire v. State of Indiana (NFP)
44A03-1002-CR-103
Criminal. Affirms sentences following guilty plea to two counts of Class C felony reckless homicide.

Daniel L. Lannen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1004-CR-221
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony manufacturing methamphetamine.

Corey Stewart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1003-CR-139
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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