Monday, October 25, 2010
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 10/25/10):
Thursday, October 28th
- 9:00 AM - Gibraltar Financial Corp. v. Prestige Equipment Corp. (20A03-0910-CV-495) - The Elkhart Superior Court entered a summary judgment in favor of Prestige and other defendants after applying the Uniform Commercial Code and determining that the lease at issue was a true lease and not a disguised security agreement. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Gibraltar Financial Corp. v. Prestige Equipment Corp., 925 N.E.2d 751 (Ind. Ct. App. April 14, 2010). Gibraltar has petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: Note that transfer has not yet been granted in this case. From the April 14, 2010 ILB summary: "To paraphrase Sigmund Freud, sometimes a lease is just a lease. The appellant herein argues that a lease entered into between two businesses was actually a disguised sale subject to an unofficial security interest. After applying the relevant statute and examining the underlying circumstances of the transaction, we find that the lease was just that—a lease."
- 9:45 AM - The City of Indianapolis, et al. v. Christine Armour, et al. (49S02-1007-CV-402) - The Marion Superior Court granted summary judgment to certain property owners who claimed that the City's failure to refund part of the sewer project assessment charges they had paid in full, when the City forgave the outstanding balances owed by their neighbors, violated the property owners' federal constitutional right to equal protection. The Court of Appeals affirmed. City of Indianapolis v. Armour, 918 N.E.2d 401 (Ind. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2009), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: See this Dec. 30, 2010 ILB entry headed "Indy Northwest side residents win lawsuit over sewer hookups."
- 10:30 AM - Howard Regional Health System, et al. v. Jacob Gordon, et al. (34S02-1009-CV-476) - Gordon, by his mother as next friend, brought a complaint for damages against Howard Community Hospital, alleging its loss of certain medical records associated with Gordon's care made it impossible for Gordon to pursue a medical malpractice claim against one of the doctors who provided care to Gordon. The trial court awarded partial summary judgment to Gordon, and the Court of Appeals affirmed on interlocutory appeal. Howard Regional Health System v. Gordon, 925 N.E.2d 453 (Ind. Ct. App. April 16, 2010), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: The April 27, 2010 COA opinion is summarized in this ILB entry. "Gordon filed a motion for partial summary judgment against the Hospital for spoliation of evidence, and the trial court granted that motion. We affirm."
Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 11/1/10):
Next Thursday, November 4th
- 9:00 AM - Jeffrey Akard v. State of Indiana (79S02-1009-CR-478) - A jury found Akard guilty of rape and other charges. the Tippecanoe Superior Court sentenced him to an aggregate sentence of ninety-three years. The Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions, and revised the aggregate sentence to 118 years. Akard v. State, 924 N.E.2d 202 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), reh’g granted, 928 N.E.2d 623, vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: The Supreme Court held last March in McCullough v. State that appellate courts have the power to revise sentences upward on appeal, and this is the first case in which the power was exercised. See this ILB entry from Sept. 13, 2010 for copies of the briefs. Here is the March 30, 2010 COA opinion summary. See also this March 31st ILB entry headed "Appeal backfires on convicted rapist."
- 9:45 AM - Kevin Taylor v. State of Indiana (20S04-1009-PC-477) - The Elkhart Circuit Court denied Taylor post-conviction relief from his murder conviction. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial, after concluding that trial counsel’s failure to object to jury instructions deprived Taylor of the effective assistance of counsel. Taylor v. State, 922 N.E.2d 710 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: From the March 11, 2010, 2-1 opinion (ILB summary here, 3rd opinion) - Dispositive issue: "whether the post-conviction court erred when it found that Taylor had not received ineffective assistance of trial counsel. We reverse and remand for a new trial."
- 10:30 AM - Matter of J.C & D.C. (49A02-0909-CV-862) - A child's stepfather petitioned to adopt the child after the mother died. The trial court granted the petition. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply and that the biological father's consent was not required. 928 N.E.2d 602 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010). The biological father has petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the appeal
ILB: This is a June 9, 2010 opinion where Judge Barnes' concurring opinion addresses "Indiana's minority position in applying the 'existing Indian family' doctrine."
- 3:30 PM - Richard Barnes v. State of Indiana (49A02-0909-CV-862) - Barnes was convicted of Class A misdemeanor battery, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct following a jury trial in the Vanderburgh Superior Court. The Court of Appeals reversed the convictions in Barnes v. State, 925 N.E.2d 420 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
Why at 3:30? Because it is to be a rare road-trip for the justices, to Weseman Hall, Valparaiso University School of Law, Valparaiso, Indiana.
ILB: Here is the April 15, 2010 ILB summary - 3rd opinion. The COA wrote: "We reverse Barnes's disorderly conduct conviction because the State failed to prove that Barnes's noisy political expression was an abuse of his right to free speech."
Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 10/25/10):
Monday, October 25th
- 10:00 AM - Natasha R. Lafave v. State of Indiana (16A01-1006-CR-271 ) - Natasha Lafave was convicted of illegal consumption of alcohol while under the age of twenty-one. Lafave challenges her conviction on the ground that, as an overnight guest at a friend's house, she was entitled to the protections extended to houseguests under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She asserts that the State failed to establish the existence of one of the exceptions to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement to enter a residence for the purposes of a search and that police entry into the house in which she was arrested was therefore unconstitutional. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Chief Judge Baker, Judges Bailey and Robb. [Where: Rushville Consolidated High School, Rushville, Indiana]
Tuesday, October 26th
- 11:00 AM - Anne W. Murphy v. Paul Terrell (49A04-1003-PL-198) - Appellants/Defendants Anne W. Murphy and Patricia Casanova, in their official capacities ("the State"), appeal the trial court's order in favor of Appellee/Plaintiff Paul Terrell, on behalf of himself and a Class of those similarly situated ("Class Members"). On appeal, the State claims that the trial court incorrectly held that unsuccessful applicants for Medicaid disability benefits have a constitutional right to an in-person administrative hearing and that the notices provided to the Class Members by the State prevented the Class Members from making a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of their constitutional rights. Alternatively, the State claims that the trial court improperly ordered class-wide relief, even though it determined that the Class Members had not established the risk of an erroneous determination on a class-wide basis. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Darden, Bradford and Brown. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
- 2:30 PM - Elizabeth Littlefield v. State of Indiana (49A02-1003-CR-266) - Elizabeth Littlefield was arrested when police responded to a domestic dispute between Littlefield and her husband. She was charged with and convicted of disorderly conduct for making unreasonable noise and continuing to do so after being asked to stop during the investigation. Littlefield contends on appeal that her arrest was inappropriate because the arresting officer did not act in accordance with police department policies for handling encounters with the mentally ill. She further contends the comments leading to her conviction were political speech protected by Article 1, section 9 of the Indiana Constitution. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Friedlander, Bailey and Robb. [Where: DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana ]
Wednesday, October 27th
- 2:00 PM - Warren J. Williams, et al v. David Orentlicher, et al (49A02-1003-PL-249) - Appellants Williams and Frankel are former employees for the Indiana State Teachers Association ("ISTA"). By virtue of their positions with ISTA, Williams was a trustee of the ISTA Insurance Trust and Frankel was the Director of the Trust. They bring this interlocutory appeal from the trial court's order denying their motion to compel arbitration. Williams and Frankel raise the following issue for review: whether the arbitration clause of their ISTA employment agreement applies to positions held ex officio. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Chief Judge Baker, Judges Najam and Mathias. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
Thursday, October 28th
- 12:48 PM - Darren J. Witt v. State of Indiana (45A05-1005-PC-319 ) - Darren Witt appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, whereby he challenged his sentence of life without parole imposed following his plea of guilty to Murder. He presents two arguments: that his sentence is unconstitutional because he is a mentally retarded individual, and that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Bailey, Robb and Brown. [Where: Columbus North High School, 1400 25th Street, Columbus, Indiana ]
Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 11/1/10):
Next Monday, November 1st
- 10:30 AM - State Farm Automobile Mutual Insurance Company v. Flexdar, Inc. (49A02-1002-PL-111) - This is an insurance coverage dispute involving interpretation of a pollution policy exclusion. Flexdar, Inc., manufactured rubber stamps and printing plates at its factory in Indianapolis. Flexdar's manufacturing process involved a chemical solvent known as trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE accumulated on and leaked from the Flexdar factory premises, causing contamination in the adjacent subsoil and groundwater. Following initial investigations, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) informed Flexdar that it could be liable for the costs of clean-up. Flexdar requested defense and indemnification from its commercial general liability insurer, State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company. State Auto filed this action seeking declaration that it owed no coverage. State Auto invoked its policy provision excluding coverage for damages arising from the escape of "pollutants." The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Flexdar. The trial court found that, in accordance with American States Insurance Co. v. Kiger, 662 N.E.2d 945 (Ind. 1996), State Auto's pollution exclusion was ambiguous, overbroad, and thus unenforceable. State Auto appeals. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges May, Robb and Vaidik. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
Next Thursday, November 4th
- 11:00 AM - Michael Nuckols v. State of Indiana (49A02-1002-CR-202) - An Indianapolis police officer noticed two persons in a vehicle in the parking lot outside a Chinese restaurant near its closing time. Concerned about the possibility that the occupants might be planning to rob the restaurant, he approached and asked the occupants for their names. Suspecting that he had been given a false name by the passenger, the officer asked Appellant-Defendant Michael Nuckols, the driver, for the woman's real name. Nuckols replied, "If I tell you who she is, I'll be in violation of my probation." Nuckols was convicted of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy after the evidence at trial showed that the woman passenger was the subject of a no-contact order against Nuckols. On appeal, Nuckols claims: (1) that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained as a result of an investigatory stop conducted without reasonable suspicion; (2) that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting into evidence Nuckols's statements obtained by the arresting officer in violation of Miranda; and (3) that the State presented insufficient evidence to support his conviction. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Chief Judge Baker, Judges Mathias and Bradford. [Where: Globe Theatre at Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana]
ONLY those Court of Appeals oral arguments presented in the Supreme or Court of Appeals Courtrooms will be accessible via videocast.
The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.
NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 25, 2010 08:10 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments