Justices accept 2 appeals and deny 24 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted two cases, one involving a tax revenue assessment dispute and a second asking how trial judges decide on restraining defendants who disrupt courtroom proceedings.

A transfer list shows the justices considered a total of 26 transfer petitions and granted transfer in two cases – Rent-A-Center East, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, No. 49S10-1112-TA-683, and Kenneth Dwayne Vaughn v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-112-CR-684.

In Rent-A-Center, the Court of Appeals in May denied the revenue department’s motion for summary judgment and granted one in favor of RAC East. The department failed to designate any facts to show it complied with Indiana Code 6-3-2-2(p), so it hadn’t made a prima facie case that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law regarding whether the department should consider alternatives to assessing tax based on a combined return. The appellate panel remanded the case to the revenue department, but now the state justices will consider the appeal.

In Vaughn, the intermediate appellate court reversed a Lake County trial judge’s refusal to grant a mistrial for a defendant who claimed the court went too far in physically restraining and preventing him from speaking at his trial. The court used caselaw from the 1980s when making its 2-1 decision concerning how far courts can go in restraining defendants who disturb the court proceedings. In this case, the majority found Lake Superior Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. went too far and overreacted in allowing the bailiff to put his hand over Vaughn’s mouth and handcuff him. Judge Ezra Friedlander had dissented, finding the trial judge’s actions were appropriate given the circumstances.

The justices denied 24 petitions in other cases, including In the Matter of the Trust of Harrison Eiteljorg, No. 49A02-1005-TR-495, which involved the two sons of the late Harrison Eiteljorg, founder of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis. The appellate court found the brothers breached their duties as trustees on an estate matter, and the ruling issued guidance concerning how long a trustee should wait before turning to a probate court for guidance on distributing money to beneficiaries who dispute the monetary amounts they might receive.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.