ILNews

Plea agreement, child support issues granted transfer

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to one case dealing with child support, and two cases dealing post-conviction relief. The court also granted transfer to three cases involving sex offenders.

In the case Marla K. Young v. Timothy S. Young, No. 09A05-0701-CV-52, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court's calculation of Timothy's child support obligation. The appellate court found the trial court erroneously calculated Timothy's weekly gross income, and remanded the trial court to add $100 to his weekly gross income and recalculate the amount of income to be imputed to Marla; the COA also ordered Timothy's child support obligation to be recalculated.

Two of the transferred cases - Anthony A. Hopkins v. State, No. 49A05-0705-PC-279, and State v. Michael A. Cozart, No. 22A01-0704-PC-183 - deal with plea agreements. Hopkins appealed the post-conviction court's denial of one of his claims for post-conviction relief, contending the court erred in failing to advise him of his Boykin rights, which caused his guilty plea to be involuntary and unintelligent. The Court of Appeals ordered his guilty plea vacated because the trial court only advised him of his right to trial by jury; because Hopkins admitted to the habitual offender enhancement, the COA ruled he did plead guilty to being a habitual offender.

In Cozart, the Court of Appeals affirmed the post-conviction court's order granting Cozart's petition for post-conviction relief, ruling Cozart didn't plead guilty knowingly and voluntarily. The state argued the trial court was not required to advise Cozart regarding the effect his prior felony convictions would have on the court's authority to suspend a portion of the minimum sentence he faced after pleading guilty. Cozart claimed he didn't understand the trial court was without discretion to suspend any of the minimum sentence he faced because of his prior convictions.

The three other cases granted transfer involve sex offenders - In the Matter of J.C.C., No. 49A02-0403-JV-266; Richard P. Wallace v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0706-CR-498; and Todd L. Jensen v. State of Indiana. All three ask the high court to decide on matters regarding registering as a sex offender. (A story in today's Indiana Lawyer Daily includes more information about these cases.)
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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