Opinions March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015

Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Thursday.
In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of T.K. v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs
Mental health. Grants transfer and reverses an order of involuntary regular civil commitment for T.K., finding clear and convincing evidence was not presented at T.K.’s civil commitment hearing to establish he was dangerous or gravely disabled. Disapproves of a line of Court of Appeals cases affirming civil commitment orders merely if such an order “represents a conclusion that a reasonable person could have drawn, even if other reasonable conclusions are possible.”

Friday’s opinions
In the Matter of Dennis Alan Howell
Certified question from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Determines that spouses and children need not be the debtor’s dependents for policy exemptions to apply in life insurance policies involved in a bankruptcy estate.

Indiana Court of Appeals
AM General, LLC v. James A. Armour
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of former AM General President and CEO James Armour and remands for trial. The majority concluded that summary judgment was inappropriate because it was unclear whether Armour’s long-term incentive payment compensation paid through a promissory note was in violation of his employment agreement and should have been paid in cash, as Armour argued. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented, finding that a promissory note is not a payment absent agreement to that effect. Vaidik would affirm summary judgment in favor of Armour.  

Robert L. Holleman v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief, finding errors that Holleman alleges concerning lack of updated psychological evaluations and denying his attendance at his public parole board hearing were harmless. In a concurring opinion, Judge Michael Barnes wrote that justice demands a special look at prisoners such as Holleman, sentenced to life in prison before sentencing reforms in 1977 and 1978.

Daniel L. Spells v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 90-year sentence for convictions of murder enhanced by habitual offender status, Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license, and Class D felony criminal recklessness.

Lamont Payne v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug.

Aguila Antwon Binion v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Billy G. Luke v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of home detention.

Spencer Robert Norvell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.) 
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Frank A. Workman, M.D. v. Ann O'Bryan (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms denial of motion to transfer venue.

Douglas Thompson v. Cheryl Majchrowicz and Amy Bensema, Individually and as Personal Representatives of the Estate of Beverly Jean Thompson, Deceased (mem. dec.)  
Civil tort. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Majchrowicz et al.

Anthony Jefferson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony criminal recklessness.

Joel Frazier v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Affirms conviction of Class C felony failure to register as a sex offender but reverses 18-year aggregate sentence because of an impermissible double enhancement. Remands with instructions to vacate the 10-year habitual offender sentencing enhancement, leaving in effect the eight-year sentence imposed on the failure to register conviction.

Thomas Campbell v. Indiana Department of Correction (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court denial of Campbell’s “motion to clarify the constitutional parameters of the Indiana Sex Offender Monitoring and Management Program.”

Arnel J. Gallanosa, D.D.S. v. Indiana State Board of Dentistry (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms State Board of Dentistry’s revocation of Gallanosa’s license to practice.

Mario L. Sims, Sr., and Tiffiny Sims v. John Tiffany (mem. dec.)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of John Tiffany.

Senaca V. Lapsley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony aggravated battery and one count of Class C felony criminal recklessness.

Jerry Wilson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for modification of sentence of alternative placement.