Supreme Court takes 3 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases, dismissed one and declined 16 cases for the week ending Oct. 21.

In John R. Berry IV v. State of Indiana, No.49A04-1008-CR-536, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed John Berry’s conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and remanded with instructions to find Berry not guilty by reason of insanity and for further proceedings as required by the Indiana Code. The appellate court looked at whether a person’s mental disease brought on by years of drinking could support an insanity defense. The judges concluded Berry’s psychosis was a mental defect under the law.

In Michael J. Lock v. State of Indiana, No. 35A04-1010-CR-641, Michael Lock appealed his conviction of Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are suspended. He contended the state failed to prove his 2009 Yamaha Zuma was a motor vehicle, and the appellate court agreed, reversing his conviction. The COA was split in reversing Lock’s conviction, with Judge John Baker dissenting.

The justices also accepted Otha S. Hamilton v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1110-CR-621 and released an opinion on the case Oct. 19.

The justices voted 3-2 to dismiss Warren L. Williams, et al. v. David Orentlicher, et al., No. 49A02-1003-PL-249, in which the COA had held that the trial court properly denied Warren Williams’ and David Frankel’s motion to compel arbitration. The appellate court ruled that the two former leaders in the Indiana State Teachers Association – who served as trustees for a legally separate insurance trust – can’t force the trust’s governing board to adhere to arbitration clauses outlined in their ISTA employment contracts. Judge James Kirsch dissented because he believed Williams’ and Frankel’s respective ISTA responsibilities were an integral foundation for what they did as ex officio members for the trust.

Justices Frank Sullivan and Robert Rucker voted to deny petition to transfer, rather than dismiss.


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  1. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  2. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.

  3. maybe if some of the socia workers would treat the foster parents better, they would continue to fostr.

  4. We have been asked to take in a 2 no old baby because mother is in very unstable situation. We want to do this but will need help with expenses such as medical and formula... Do we have to have custody thru court?

  5. Very troubling. A competent public defender is very much the right of every indigent person in the US or the Fifth amendment becomes meaningless. And considering more and more of us are becoming poorer and poorer under this "system," the need for this are greater than ever.... maybe they should study the Federals and see how they manage their program? And here's to thanking all the PD attorneys out there who do a good job.