Opinions Feb. 8, 2013

February 8, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Billy Russell v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence on charges of murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The panel found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to completely bifurcate the trial of the SVF charge from the murder charge or in refusing to tender Russell’s self-defense jury instruction. The court also determined the 85-year sentence was not inappropriate.

Hiawathia Hunt v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms 545-day sentence, 270 executed, on a conviction of Class D felony theft following a bench trial, holding that a sentence in which the judge offered possible leniency in time served in exchange for restitution to the victim was not error because the sentence was not conditioned upon restitution but rather offered possible modification if restitution was paid.

Estate of Ruby L. Rowland: James A. Rowland, Jr. v. Michael B. Rowland (NFP)

Estate, supervised. Affirms the trial court’s denial of the Estate’s petition to recover assets. Ruled the trial court properly found that the presumption of undue influence does not apply and properly found the Estate failed to prove that the statutory presumption for survivorship rights was overcome.

Louis Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms trial court’s denial of Townsend’s petition for relief. Found the post-conviction court did not err when it concluded that Townsend did not receive ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel and when it concluded Townsend was not entitled to post-conviction relief on the basis of newly-discovered evidence.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline. The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.