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Justices take 3 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases, including one of first impression involving Indiana’s victim-advocate privilege.

In the case In Re Subpoena to Crisis Connection Inc., State of Indiana v. Ronald Keith Fromme, No. 19S05-1012-CR-678, the Indiana Court of Appeals explored the scope of Indiana’s victim-advocate privilege and declined to hold the privilege is absolute. The judges decided a three-step test should be applied to determine whether information is discoverable in a criminal case. They believed it provided a useful framework for balancing a victim’s privacy with a defendant’s constitutional rights.

Crisis Connection, a group that works with domestic violence and sexual assault victims, didn’t believe it should have to turn over records to the court for an in camera review in Ronald Keith Fromme’s criminal case. He was charged with felony child molesting and sought all records relating to his two alleged victims and their mothers.

The Court of Appeals upheld their decision on rehearing, holding that their earlier opinion allowing the in camera review of Crisis Connection’s documents doesn’t send the message that it’s “open season” on the records of victim services providers.

The justices took J.M. v. M.A., et al., No. 20S04-1012-CV-676, in which the Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to vacate its order adjudicating J.M. as the legal father of W.H. and ordering him to pay child support. Because the state conceded that J.M. isn’t W.H.’s biological father, the judges ordered the trial court to set aside the paternity affidavit.

The Supreme Court also accepted Joshua Konopasek v. State of Indiana, No. 25S03-1012-CR-669. The Court of Appeals affirmed Konopasek’s Class C felony conviction of battery causing serious bodily injury. The judges ruled that while evidence about his criminal record shouldn’t have been admitted, any error was harmless, and the state’s evidence was sufficient to prove battery and disprove Konopasek’s claim of self defense.

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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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