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Justices grant 3 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers and dismissed one case during its conference late last week, when the justices examined a total 35 cases that were before them for possible transfer.

The City of Indianapolis, et al. v. Christine Armour, et al., No. 49S02-1007-CV-402, which the Court of Appeals had ruled on Dec. 30, 2009. The appeal stems from a class-action lawsuit involving 2004 sewer assessments, in which 30 property owners had paid up-front assessments of $9,278 apiece while other neighbors had started installment plans of $309 apiece. The city ultimately abandoned the Barrett Law in favor of a flat $2,500 fee apiece for future hookups. An appellate panel had ordered the city to issue refunds of $8,968 to the 30 households in the Northern Estates subdivision, but now the justices have accepted the case.

Matthew A. Baugh v. State of Indiana, No. 18S04-1007-CR-398, which comes from a 2-1 ruling in May by the Court of Appeals. The majority determined the defendant had waived his claim that the trial court failed to comply with the statutory requirements for making a sexually violent predator determination. Chief Judge John Baker and Judge Terry Crone ruled the issue waived because Baugh failed to object to the determination at sentencing, but Judge Carr Darden dissented and wrote: “How could a constitutionally competent attorney allow his client to suffer the consequences that befell Baugh without advising him of the statutorily required hearing, at which he could subject the experts' conclusions to the crucible of cross-examination?”

David Hopper v. State of Indiana, No. 13S01-1007-PC-399, in which the Court of Appeals had ruled in April that the requirement to advise a defendant of the dangers of self-representation and the benefit of counsel applies equally regardless of whether a pro se defendant is choosing to plead guilty or go to trial.

In five of the other appeals that justices denied transfer on, three got a single vote supporting transfer while Justice Theodore R. Boehm didn’t participate in the transfer-denying decisions of two others. The justices also dismissed the case of Saul I. Ruman, et. al. v. Denise Benjamin, No. 64A05-0901-CV-39, in which the appellate court late last year had decided to affirm Denise Benjamin’s motion to correct error when the trial court had vacated an earlier summary judgment entry for Saul Ruman.
 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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