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Justices grant 2 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to consider cases that involve a trial court's handling of a mentally ill murder defendant, and whether the First Amendment protects a volunteer firefighter's e-mails about the township department's financial situation.

Justices granted transfer in two cases during its weekly conference on April 1, when it considered a total of 17 cases.

Gregory L. Galloway v. State of Indiana, No. 33A02-0906-CR-280, which involves a murder case out of Henry Circuit Court where the defendant claimed he should have been acquitted because of mental insanity. The Court of Appeals in January affirmed the lower court's finding that he was guilty but mentally ill for the 2007 murder of his grandmother. The appellate court found that Thompson v. State, 804 N.E. 2d 1146 (Ind. 2004), compelled it to leave the judgment in place, despite the appellate judges' sympathy for Galloway's circumstances.

Bradley J. Love v. Robert Rehfus, individually and in his capacity as fire chief of the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department, and Sugar Creek Township, No. 30A01-0905-CV-250, which involves volunteer and part-time firefighter Bradley Love's firing about an e-mail he sent out about the department's financial situation. He won his first round of appeals of the trial court's summary judgment granting in favor of fire chief Robert Rehfus and Sugar Creek Township. The trial court ruled as a matter of law that Love didn't engage in protected First Amendment activity when sending the e-mail. Using precedent from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1968 and another by the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2006, the appellate court concluded the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court found that caselaw says if no damage is proven, then the statements may be protected even if they are false.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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