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Friday, March 16, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 today (and 16 NFP)

For publication opinions today (4):

In Jack Messer v. New Albany Police Department, a 14-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge May writes:

Jack Messer was a New Albany police officer who made a racially-charged remark while talking with other officers after roll call. The comment was leaked to the press. The New Albany Police Merit Commission found Messer's statement was conduct unbecoming an officer and suspended him. On judicial review, the trial court granted the New Albany Police Department's motion for summary judgment, finding there was no issue of fact as to whether Messer's conduct was unbecoming an officer and provided a basis for his discipline. We affirm. * * *

As there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Messer's statement had the potential to disrupt the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department's operations, Love, 946 N.E.2d at 10, we affirm the trial court.

NAJAM, J., concurs.
BAKER, J., dissents with separate opinion. [that concludes] In sum, I do not believe that the Department successfully established that Officer Messer's comments had the potential to disrupt the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. As a result, it is my view that Officer Messer's comment was protected by the First Amendment, and the trial court erred in granting the Department's motion for summary judgment.

In Harry Kaufmann Motorcars, Inc. v. Schumaker Performance, Inc., a 10-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:
Appellant-Plaintiff Harry Kaufmann Motorcars, Inc. (“HKM”) appeals the trial court's decision to set aside a foreign judgment rendered in the State of Wisconsin against Appellee-Defendant Schumaker Performance, Inc. (“Schumaker”) as void for lack of personal jurisdiction. Concluding that the Wisconsin court had personal jurisdiction over Schumaker, we reverse and remand the matter to the trial court for future proceedings consistent with this opinion. [ILB: Cites International Shoe!]
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Company as subrogee of Joseph Koors d/b/a Koors Amoco v. Harleysville Insurance Company, a 12-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:
Appellant-Plaintiff Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Company (“Farm Bureau”), as subrogee of Joseph Koors d/b/a Koors Amoco, appeals from the trial court's denial of its summary judgment motion against Appellee-Defendant Harleysville Insurance Company (“Harleysville”) and the trial court's grant of Harleysville's summary judgment motion. Farm Bureau contends that the trial court erred in concluding that Harleysville was not obligated to defend and indemnify Koors in proceedings related to the remediation of contamination at its place of business. We reverse and remand.
In Chad M. McLain v. State of Indiana , a 13-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
Chad M. McLain1 was stopped for failing to activate his turn signal at least two hundred feet before turning. The officer issued a warning ticket and told McLain that he was free to leave. Then the officer asked McLain if he had illegal substances in his car and for McLain's permission to search the car. McLain voluntarily consented to the search of his car and marijuana was discovered. McLain was charged with and convicted of possession of marijuana. On appeal, he claims that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the marijuana because the search of his car violated his state and federal constitutional guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure. Specifically, he argues that after the traffic stop was completed, the officer's continued questions and search of his vehicle were unconstitutional. Finding no constitutional violations, we affirm. * * *

Here, McLain was free to leave and voluntarily gave his consent to search his vehicle. We conclude that Officer Valderrama's questions following the termination of the traffic stop did not impinge upon McLain's Fourth Amendment Rights. * * *

Like Callahan, McLain clearly and voluntarily consented to the search of his vehicle even after being told that he was free to go. Therefore, we conclude that Article 1, Section 11 was not violated by Officer's Valderrama's conduct following the termination of the traffic stop.

Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence obtained from the search of McLain's vehicle. Therefore, we affirm his conviction for possession of marijuana.

NFP civil opinions today (6):

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. and Adoption of J.P.; M.P. and Z.P.; D.P. and G.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services and J.H. and T.H. (NFP)

Todd Richmond v. Erin Mager (Richmond) (NFP)

In Re: The Adoption of T.L.; M.J. v. D.F. and K.F. and Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

Olde York Potato Chips, Inc., ONAP, Inc., and Peter Margie v. Shenolikar Dwarka and Dwarka & Sons, Inc. (NFP)

R.F. and I.A. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)

Dominee M. Florence v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Kindred Nursing Centers LTD PTR (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (10):

Rickey Robey v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Kimberly L. Zapalac v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jeffrey S. Pryor v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dathan Alexander v. State of Indiana (NFP)

B.O. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Terrell Ewell v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Rebecca A. Thieling v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Andre Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Paul J. Kinnaman v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Lesnick Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 16, 2012 01:54 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions