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Opinions Nov. 30, 2012

November 30, 2012
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Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana Ex Rel., Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission v. Derek A. Farmer
94S00-1103-MS-165
Attorney discipline. Rejected petition to enjoin unauthorized practice of law, holding that the Disciplinary Commission failed to prove that Farmer had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, and failed to convince the court that Farmer could not have reasonably expected to be authorized for temporary admission due to a pending disciplinary proceeding.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Adoption of Minor Children: C.B.M. and C.R.M.: C.A.B. v. J.D.M. and K.L.M.
37A03-1204-AD-149
Adoption. Reverses trial court’s denial of birth mother’s petition to set aside the adoption decree and remands for further proceedings, finding that the state’s consent to the adoption of C.B.M. and C.R.M. was arbitrary and capricious and in derogation of the birth mother’s procedural due process right to a meaningful appeal of the termination order, which was overturned prior to the grant of the adoption decree.

Peabody Energy Corp., Peabody Coal Co., LLC, and Black Beauty Coal Co. v. Richard F. Roark and Beelman Truck Co., and North American Capacity Ins. Co.
14A01-1112-CT-555
Civil Tort. Affirms its opinion in all regards to reverse a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to North American Capacity Insurance Co. In its petition for a rehearing, NAC argued the opinion did not explain if it had a duty to indemnify or only a duty to defend. The COA rejected the argument on the grounds it was not raised on appeal.  

Steven Hook, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1204-CR-192
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon.

Erich Wilhelmi v. State of Indiana (NFP)
43A05-1204-CR-214
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for three years in prison with two executed for a conviction of Class D felony failure to return to the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.

In Re: 2009 Marion County Tax Sale Parcel No. 1019054; Darryl W. Finkton, Sr. v. Auditor of Marion County, Treasurer of Marion County, and Indy-East Asset Development Corp. (NFP)
49A02-1201-MI-41
Miscellaneous/tax sale. Affirms reissuance of tax deed to auditor.

Danny G. Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1205-CR-229
Criminal. Affirms concurrent sentence of six years for a conviction of Class C felony forgery and two years each for convictions of Class D felony counts of receiving stolen property and fraud.

Jose Carlos Arce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
88A05-1206-PC-324
Post-conviction relief. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands to the trial court for a hearing on Arce’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Siraj Khaja Ahmed v. Asma Saman Ahmed (NFP)
64A03-1204-DR-175
Domestic relations/divorce. Affirms trial court denial of Siraj’s motion to correct error and its grant of Asma’s motion to dismiss.  
 
Alberto R. Melendez Cruz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1203-CR-150
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder.
 

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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