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COA corrects, clarifies issues in taillight case

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05210701mgr.pdfThe Indianapolis law professor who challenged in court the ticket he received for a broken taillight in Fort Wayne petitioned for a rehearing, and the Court of Appeals today issued an opinion that affirms but corrects and clarifies its earlier ruling.

On May 21, the COA reversed and remanded Joel Schumm's case, Schumm v. State, to Allen Superior Court for a new trial. In that opinion, the appellate judges found the trial court improperly denied Schumm's Baston challenge.

Schumm recently petitioned for a rehearing raising five issues; the appeals court responded by correcting a factual statement and clarifying two aspects of its earlier opinion.

In today's opinion in Schumm v. State, authored by Judge Margret Robb, the court states that a jury instruction by Schumm is an Indiana pattern instruction. The court had earlier ruled the pattern instruction was not from Indiana.

In a footnote in today's opinion, the court noted its library copy of Indiana's jury instructions indicated it was current through December 2006; however, the table of contents and several chapters - including Chapter 17 - had not been updated and did not include the instruction Schumm submitted. The court also thanked Schumm for bring it to their attention.

Also in its previous opinion, the appellate judges stated Schumm waived his argument regarding the admissibility of Department of Transportation regulations because he failed to seek to introduce the evidence relating to them at trial. The Court of Appeals writes that Schumm did indeed seek to introduce evidence to show his vehicle was in compliance with DOT regulations but not to introduce the regulations themselves.

In its May 21 opinion, the court also stated Schumm waived his argument that the trial court improperly excluded evidence regarding the Fort Wayne Police Department's Standard Operating Procedures. The court restates that Schumm "waived his argument as to whether the SOPs themselves were admissible, as he did not attempt to admit them at trial."
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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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