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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers Tuesday, including a case regarding the state's "non-suspension rule," Indiana Code Section 35-50-2-2(b)(1).

In Julie A. Gardiner v. State of Indiana, No. 08A02-0810-CR-874, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined in a case of first impression that the state's "non-suspension rule" in Indiana Code depends on the status of the prior criminal conviction at the time of sentencing for a subsequent conviction. Because Julie Gardiner's prior unrelated Class D felony conviction wasn't reduced to a Class A misdemeanor at the time she was sentenced for a later drug conviction, her 20-year sentence stands.

The majority ruled if the Hamilton County trial court had immediately reduced Gardiner's prior felony to the misdemeanor, the Carroll Circuit Court would have had the discretion to order a suspended sentence. Since the Hamilton trial court postponed the reduction, Gardiner still had the Class D felony conviction on her record when she was convicted and sentenced for the Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine.

The majority noted it was frustrated by a sentencing scheme that illogically limits a judge's discretion and invited the legislature to consider amending the statutes to provide more judicial discretion.

Judge Elaine Brown dissented on the grounds she wouldn't give the non-suspension rule such a strict interpretation as to tie the trial court's hands in suspending a minimum sentence when circumstances warrant a modification.

In Jimmie Smith v. Champion Trucking Co., Inc. No. 93A02-0808-EX-701, the Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of Jimmie Smith's application for adjustment of claim with the Indiana Workers' Compensation Board. Smith should be allowed to proceed with his workers' compensation claim that was pending at the time of his settlement with the driver who struck his truck while he was working, the court ruled.

"Thus, Smith correctly observes that there may be some potential, in furtherance of the humane purposes of the Act, for some supplemental payment from an employer after the injured employee has recovered from a third-party tortfeasor an amount less than the 'apparent worker's compensation benefits' before the worker's compensation claim was resolved," wrote the court.

The high court also granted transfer to Eric P. Sibbing v. Amanda N. Cave, individually and as the mother and guardian of Mercy M. Cave, minor, No. 49A02-0802-CV-165.The appellate court ruled the trial court didn't err in allowing into evidence Cave's testimony about medical tests and the cause of her pain. Cave was injured in a car accident when Eric Sibbing's car slammed into the back of hers. Cave filed a negligence suit against Sibbing, who admitted fault.

The judges disagreed about whether the court erred in granting Cave's motion to strike portions of Sibbing's expert medical witness's testimony.

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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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