« April 17, 2012 | Main | April 19, 2012 »

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ind. Gov't. - "Counties Reveal Consequences Of State Budget Error"

Brandon Smith of Indiana Public Broadcasting has a long story today about how the state budget error impacted the counties. Interesting.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Indiana Government

Ind. Law - "Connecticut woman's fight to keep her husband's remains buried in the back yard of her home was heard before the Conn. Supreme Court"

The ILB had several Indiana-based entries last year under the heading "State law blocks backyard burial plans," with the most recent, dated Nov. 7, 2011, headed "Loved ones reburied Milo Blaker Sunday afternoon, there beneath a hickory tree on the hill visible from the kitchen window of the house he shared with his wife Betty for half a century."

Today the Hartford Courant is reporting on a similar situation, but theirs was not amicably resolved at the local level.

The report includes a video showing the 8-acre back yard. A few quotes from the long story by Hilda Munoz:

A Chester woman's fight to keep her husband's remains buried in the back yard of her South Wig Hill Road home was heard before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Elise Piquet believes she has the right to leave her husband in place and for her ashes, when the time comes, to be buried next to him, her lawyer, William Gallagher, argued on Tuesday.

In 2007, she asked a Superior Court judge to declare her right to use the residential property for her husband's burial and her own burial after an exchange of letters with town officials, who said she had violated local zoning regulations.

The judge ruled in favor of the town, and Piquet appealed. The state appellate court reversed the lower court's decision.

The Supreme Court will now consider whether the appellate court's decision was appropriate.

John Bennet, attorney for the town of Chester, argued on Tuesday that Piquet needed a zoning permit to have a burial on private property, but she didn't get one. * * *

Outside of the court house on Tuesday, Piquet said it never occurred to her to seek a permit. The home was built in 1770 and other people have been buried on the property, she said.

"I just thought it was a matter of historical precedent and that I could just do it," she said. "I didn't mean to break any rules, but I didn't know there were any."

The ABA Journal has collected some additional links.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Indiana Law

Courts - Another grammar lesson today, but this time from the SCOTUS

The ILB's first post this morning was about a news story "corrected" by the sports copy desk.

Now Joe Palazzolo of the WSJ Law Blog has a good story about an opinion yesterday by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, which turned on the meaning of "not an".

The case is Caraco Pharm. v. Novo Nordisk.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Courts in general

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 14 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Todd Walters and Matenia Walters v. Aaron Austin and Herman & Goetz, Inc., a 6-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Najam writes:

Todd and Matenia Walters (collectively “the Walterses”) appeal the trial court’s judgment on a jury verdict in favor of Aaron Austin and his employer, Herman & Goetz, Inc., (collectively “Defendants”) on the Walterses’ complaint for damages arising from a multi-vehicle accident. The Walterses present several issues for review. However, because we determine that we do not have jurisdiction, we do not reach the merits of this appeal. We dismiss. * * *

The Defendants contend that the appeal should be dismissed because the notice of appeal was filed thirty-one days after the trial court denied the first motion to correct error. The Walterses maintain that the relevant date for determining the timeliness of the notice of appeal is May 24, 2011, the date the trial court denied the amended motion to correct error. In support, they assert that the amended motion to correct error was “not filed in an effort to extend the filing deadline [for the notice of appeal] nor was it an attempt to ask the Trial Court to reconsider the motion as the Amended Motion to Correct Errors was filed before counsel for plaintiff[s] was notified that the original Motion to Correct Errors had been denied.” Response to Motion to Dismiss at *2. Therefore, the Walterses believe that they timely filed their notice of appeal. We cannot agree.

Indiana Trial Rule 53.4 provides in relevant part that repetitive motions “shall not delay the trial or any proceedings in the case, or extend the time for any further required or permitted action, motion, or proceedings under these rules.” We find that rule applicable here. The Walterses’ amended motion to correct error was nearly identical to the original motion to correct error, amending only non-substantive, typographical and grammatical errors in the original motion. Further, the amended motion was to “relate back” to the original motion. In effect, the amended motion was merged with the original motion, and the denial date of the original motion was May 23. We conclude that the amended motion to correct error was a repetitive motion and, therefore, the filing of the amended motion did not change the date for filing the notice of appeal. * * *

RILEY, J., concurs.
DARDEN, J., dissents with separate opinion. [that concludes] The Walterses filed both of their motions to correct error well within the time period to do so; filed the amended motion to correct error only three days after filing the original motion; and filed the May 23 motion prior to receiving notice that the trial court had denied the May 20 motion. The Walterses clearly did not file the May 23 motion in an effort to extend the time for filing their notice of appeal. Accordingly, I do not believe that the interest of justice is served by treating the May 23 motion as a repetitive motion. I therefore would review this case on the merits.

In Alebro, LLC v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Jason Scheidell , a 13-page opinion, Judge Vaidik writes:
Alebro, LLC, appeals the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (“Review Board”) granting its terminated employee, Jason Scheidell, unemployment benefits. Alebro argues that the Review Board erred in failing to admit documents as evidence at the hearing, used the wrong burden of proof, and erred in allowing Scheidell to rebut Alebro’s prima facie case of just cause for termination by arguing instead that he had committed a different terminable offense. We hold that if an employee’s explanation for the behavior that led to his termination is another terminable offense, that provides just cause for termination. We therefore reverse. * * *

BRAFORD, J., concurs.
CRONE, J., concurs with separate opinion. [which begins, at p. 10 of 13] I fully concur in the majority’s reasoning and result, but I write separately to express my disagreement with its disclosure of the full names of both the unemployment claimant and the employer in what I believe to be a contravention of Indiana law. * * *

Until the relevant provisions of Administrative Rule 9(G) are amended by our supreme court, I intend to continue to use initials in unemployment cases that I write.[1]
[1] In the even more recent case of Chrysler Group, LLC v. Review Board of Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 960 N.E.2d 118 (Ind. 2012), our supreme court elected to identify the individual claimant by initials but identified the employer by name because it saw “little merit in attempting to conceal the identity of a global automotive manufacturer that faced a massive economic collapse in 2008 and whose initials are ‘C.G.’” No such considerations are at play here.

NFP civil opinions today (4):

In Re the Adoption of K.B.M. and L.B.M.; T.M. v. R.P.F. (NFP)

In Re the Paternity of K.S.; J.S. v. M.M. (NFP)

Margaret M. Hammond v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Porter County Commissioners (NFP)

Huntington Copper, LLC v. Conner Sawmill, Inc. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (10):

Chad Jeremy Orme v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Justin A. Staples v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dennis Mikel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ramon Crawford v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jason Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Derrick Mays v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ronald Edward Madison, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Brandon Ray Carter v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jason A. Reber v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Michael Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Law - "100 Appellate Law Twitter Feeds to Follow"

From the blog Circuit Splits. Alphabetical. ILB is #44.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to General Law Related

Ind. Gov't. - "Audit may find more revenue errors, but Daniels says they will be smaller"

Eric Bradner has an interesting story today in the Evansville Courier & Press, reporting Governor Daniels' comments on the recent Dept. of Revenue errors.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Indiana Government

Courts - Still more on "Keep Your Hands off My Briefs: Lawyers Sue Westlaw, Lexis"

Updating this ILB entry from Feb. 12, 2012, see this column by Susan Hackett in the ABA "Legal Rebels" blog. The heading: "If Lawyers Sell Legal Expertise to Clients, Who Owns the Resulting Product?."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Courts in general

Ind. Decisions - "$1 million judgment appealed: Ex-wife of former Wabash Center CFO fights ruling"

Sophia Voravong reports today in the Lafayette Journal Courier in a story that begins:

The ex-wife of former Wabash Center Inc. chief financial officer Stephen P. McAninch is appealing a judge’s ruling that ordered her to turn over “dirty money” that McAninch stole from his employer over an 18-year period.

On March 19, Tippecanoe Superior Court 2 Judge Thomas Busch entered a $1,037,489 judgment against Connie Landers on grounds that she knew about her ex-husband’s thefts while they were married and used it to her advantage during divorce proceedings.

Landers’ attorney, Matthew Laydon, said an appeal was filed Monday. It now will be up to the Indiana Court of Appeals to decide whether Landers is financially obligated to return money to Wabash Center, a Lafayette-based nonprofit that serves individuals with development disabilities.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions

Ind. Gov't. - Update on David Lott Hardy, fired chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

See brief Indianapolis Star item here, Hardy has filed motion to dismiss indictment, arguments scheduled for June 11th before Judge James Osborn.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to Indiana Government

Not law - but worth a look ...

Sports copy editor's "correction" causes reporter grief. See here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted to General News